Feb. 17 (UPI) — Heavy rain has pounded Mississippi and Tennessee leading to historic levels of flooding and damaged homes.
At least four people were evacuated from their homes as rising water from the Pearl River flooded entire neighborhoods, and affected 300 homes near the state capital of Jackson, CBS This Morning reported Monday. Officials expect the river to crest at its highest point in more than 35 years, but it could take up to a week before waters recede. The worst could still be ahead as floodwaters are expected to rise another 7 inches.
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said Monday the river is currently cresting at 36.7 feet and will begin going down from its peak soon.
“After days of rising floodwaters we do have positive news to report,” Reeves said.
Reeves had declared a state of emergency over the weekend, prompting evacuations.
“This is a historic, unprecedented flood,” Reeves tweeted Saturday. “With projections showing the potential of this being the third 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.”
The next day he gave an update on the conditions.
“In the last 24 hours, there have been new developments as floodwaters have continued to rise,” Reeves tweeted Sunday. “It will be days before we are out of the woods and waters start to recede, and the state and first responders are prepared and ready to act.”
In Tennessee, historic flooding also prompted evacuations and caused a landslide in the Chalk Bluff area where two homes plunged into the Tennessee river, Hardin County Fire Department said in Facebook posts.
Fox 13 reported that within an hour of evacuation a vacant home collapsed Saturday night.
A second home plunged into the river Sunday.
Nobody was reported hurt.
Only one of two homes was occupied when the landslide threat became imminent and rescuers evacuated homeowners ahead of time.
One Facebook post showed video of the collapse of a home in Savannah, Tenn., a two-hour drive east of Memphis. A separate video Monday showed a section of Glendale Road in Hardin County collapsing.
Though Mississippi and Tennessee have been hard hit, heavy rain has drenched a larger swath of the South.
According to the Tennessee Valley Authority, rainfall is more than 400 percent above normal for the year.