Mississippi mayor warns of severe flooding, tells residents to flee town “while they still can”

With record-setting rain predicted to bring severe flooding to Mississippi over the next few days, the mayor of the state’s biggest city is urging residents to get out while they still can.

Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba told CNN on Sunday that he is concerned about a repeat of the damaging floods that hit the city in February 2020.

“I am urging residents of Jackson to please get out now,” Lumumba said. “We do not want to take any chances with this storm.”

Authorities had earlier predicted that the Pearl River would crest at 36 feet by Tuesday, but the latest forecast now shows the river reaching its peak late Sunday or early Monday before slowly beginning to recede.

Lumumba urged residents in low-lying areas near the river to evacuate as soon as possible, saying that water could begin creeping into homes within the next few days.

“If you wait until Monday, it may be too late,” he said. “So please, get out now while you still can.”

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves also declared a state of emergency on Saturday and said that National Guard troops and resources had been deployed to the areas most at risk of flooding.

“Our number one priority is the safety of our people,” Reeves said. “If you live in a low-lying area near the Pearl River, please evacuate now.”

Residents who need assistance with evacuating can call the city’s 311 hotline for information on available resources.

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