Update, 19 February 2020:
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey issued a state of emergency for all 67 counties of Alabama on 18 February 2020 in response to the ongoing heavy rain in the state.
The governor said: “The significant amount of rain that has fallen across AL recently has caused flooding in several portions of the state. We assured our citizens that we’d be prepared to help however needed, which is why I have issued a State of Emergency.”
The governor also announced she had activated the Alabama Emergency Management Agency State Emergency Operations Center to monitor flooding around the state.
Original report, 18 February 2020:
Among the worst hit areas is Jackson, Mississippi, where the Pearl River exceeded Major Flood stage and reached 36.67 feet on 17 February, 2020, it’s third highest level on record.
The state government of Mississippi moved quickly in anticipation of the flooding and declared a state of emergency on 15 February. Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves said:
“This is a historic, unprecedented flood. With projections showing the potential of this being the 3rd worst flood in our state’s history, I’ve declared a state of emergency to deploy the necessary resources to take care of all Mississippians impacted…Protect yourself and your family — have a plan in place and evacuate if and when you are asked.”
Emergency Management in the state estimated estimated that more than 2,400 structures would be affected by the flooding — most of them in Hinds County, which includes Jackson, but also some in neighbouring Rankin and Madison Counties.
Evacuation orders were issued in these areas and around 16 people were rescued from flooded homes. It is estimated that around 1,000 homes have suffered flood damage. Full details of damages are yet to be confirmed, but no fatalities have been reported.
Two houses were destroyed after rain triggered a landslide close the the banks of the Tennessee River in Savannah, Tennessee. No injuries were reported.
Levels of the Tennessee River remain high after the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) increased dam flows. TVA said rainfall in February was already over 400% more than normal. “We’re managing large amounts of inflow and runoff from recent rainfall to bring levels along the upper mainstem back into normal winter ranges,” TVA added.
Areas of Mississippi and Tennessee faced a spell of severe weather just days ago, when at least 5 people died and hundreds evacuated their homes after a powerful winter storm on 04 February, 2020.
Floodwaters are slowly on the rise in areas near the Pearl River. We continue to urge anyone who needs to leave, to do so while it’s still daylight. Shelter is available at the JPD Training Academy: 3000 St. Charles Street. Visit https://t.co/mbnnAy0iFj for more info pic.twitter.com/dCE26Zumtj
— City of Jackson (@CityofJacksonMS) February 15, 2020
The Pearl River has jumped its banks east of #Jackson, well on the way to its potential 3rd highest crest in the area. @JacobLanierWx @ChristanaK_WAPT @NWSJacksonMS #MSwx#drone #mavic2zoom #dji pic.twitter.com/rJAPqQCPR5
— Alex Forbes (@AForbesWx) February 15, 2020