JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Forty years ago this week the Pearl River overran the levees surrounding Jackson and flood waters destroyed homes and businesses across the city. Water covered the Fairgrounds and Coliseum and even reached downtown businesses.
Since that time, hardly any changes or improvements have been made to the flood control system. Former Jackson Mayor Dale Danks, who was mayor at the time of the 1979 flood offers this warning, “It can happen again. It’s just a matter of when and how severe.”
Several plans have been proposed to help prevent another flood like the 1979 disaster. One Lake, the most recent strategy, call for the construction of a lake that would stretch from Flowood past downtown Jackson, creating not only a better flood control system but a recreational and economic boosting amenity.
Just like when the Reservoir was constructed, there are people and groups who oppose One Lake, with most criticism coming from communities south of Jackson concerned about downstream water quality. And they deserve answers to make sure the project does not cause flooding or water shortages. One Lake would be a game changing project for the metro, so hopefully proponents can provide the information necessary to remove those concerns and the project can move forward. Until something is done, Jackson residents and businesses should know a flood like the one in 1979 could happen again.