JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - At a Friday press conference, Mayor Chokwe Lumumba was very, very serious about his city being prepared for Saturday morning’s storms.
“I will be going through different communities this evening in order to emphasize the importance of not taking this severe weather event seriously,” he said.
Lumumba issued a Civil Emergency proclamation today during a press conference with the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, Hinds County Emergency Operations Center, and various Jackson department heads to stress the danger of the incoming weather, dwelling especially on the flooding.
The Pearl River is currently crested at 31 feet, and any overflow will make its way to areas of the city that regularly flood, the mayor said. He directed citizens who live in frequent flooding areas to be prepared.
“This is more water than we are used to handling at a given period of time, this is more water than our infrastructure can withstand, it’s potentially more water than our infrastructure can withstand, so we want people to take appropriate precaution,” he said.
Sandbags were handed out Friday afternoon and will be handed out Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 4225 Michael Avalon Street.
The winds are expected to be formidable as well, officials said, and the straight line winds will be possibly as dangerous as any tornadic activity the system might bring. Entergy Mississippi spokesman Joey Lee said downed trees are the main threat to power lines in this kind of wind.
Lee said Entergy has an extra 150 workers coming in to help restore power as the storms knock it out.
“With the front that’s headed this way right now, we’re seeing that any part of our service territory can get hit. We’re looking at anywhere from the delta on down south of Natchez, and that encompasses all of Entergy Mississippi’s territory,” Lee said.
At MEMA, resources will stand ready to deploy when the time comes.
“The state EOC is operating 24/7 and went to a level three partial today which means we’ve got additional partners on the floor with us to be there and able to respond to the city of Jackson, hinds county, and the rest of the state should the need arise,” said MEMA Director Greg Michel.