Reservoir flood strategy helped slow down Pearl River crest

Reservoir flood strategy helped slow down Pearl River crest

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Reservoir officials are reducing the amount of water they’re releasing from the spillway, going from 78,000 cubic feet per second down to 65,000.

They were also able to slow down the crest, giving people downstream several more days to get out before the floodwaters came in.

“We were able to store floodwater for two days and allow the citizens to sandbag, evacuate...whatever they needed to do without their streets being flooded. When we got to the point that was all over, the lake was getting full, we increased the flows and the streets started flooding,” John Sigman, General Manager of the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District said.

With levels at the main lake again dropping, that’s allowing more storage space for rain in this week’s forecast.

“Right now the weather service is predicting 1-2 inches. If we don’t get more than that, we can handle that without having to increase discharges,” said Sigman.

It's a constant balancing act, holding water and releasing it, doing whatever they can to limit impacts downstream.

“The last two events we were able to mitigate the crest as it goes through Jackson and Rankin county by using what little bit of storage we have. It’s not a flood control lake. We don’t have much, about three feet to work with, but yet we’ve been successful in using that to reduce the amount of flood through Jackson,” said Sigman.

[Related: Why does the Pearl River flood if we have a reservoir that’s supposed to hold water?]


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