Officials in the southern U.S. state of Mississippi said floodwaters appeared to hit their peak Monday in Jackson, offering hope the high water will begin receding and allow evacuated residents to return home.
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves warned residents not to rush back home until officials can be sure it is safe.
“Please do not move back into your neighborhood or into your home until authorities and officials give you the OK to do so,” he told a news conference Monday.
The Pearl River reached its highest level in Jackson in 37 years — 11.2 meters — after heavy rains last week. The rains forced authorities to release water from overflowing reservoirs, further flooding low-lying areas. Reeves declared a state of emergency on Saturday and officials ordered mandatory evacuations for some residents in central Mississippi and southern Tennessee.
No deaths or injuries have been reported from the flooding. It is not yet clear how many homes and streets were damaged by the high water.
Officials are cautioning that areas downstream of Jackson could still be vulnerable to flooding from the Pearl River. They also are expressing concern that if rain forecast for later this week is worse than predicted, it could trigger more flooding.
Monday’s high water mark on the Pearl River was the third highest recorded on the river. The record peak came in 1979 when floodwaters reached 13.2 meters.