Residents, aided by firefighters, volunteers and state troopers, passed submerged cars as they departed by school bus from the Peach Tree Village assisted living facility in Brandon, about a 12-mile drive east. east of downtown Jackson.
Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba called for voluntary evacuations in areas at risk of flooding after heavy rains on Wednesday. On Thursday morning, the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District increased the flow of Barnett Reservoir, a move the district says would put water on the streets of Jackson.
Lumumba asked communities likely to be affected to prepare in advance.
“We are calling for voluntary evacuation during this period in areas that are expected to be affected,” the mayor said.
Accumulating rain quickly caused flash flooding in southern Mississippi and Alabama, according to CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller.
“Once the current series of storms fade tonight, the threat really lessens,” Miller added. Although some afternoon showers and thunderstorms remain in the forecast for the next few days, the coverage and intensity compared to the past few days is significantly lower.
According to Brandon Mayor Butch Lee, nearly 3 feet of water from a nearby creek rushed into the seniors’ residence, forcing the stampede to bring its residents to higher ground.
Rankin County Officer Gary Windham had “seen the water rising in this area before, but not like this,” he told WAPT.
About 17 miles away, more than 100 children and 15 employees had to be rescued from the Railroad Center daycare center in Florence due to rapidly rising waters, according to the Rankin County Sheriff’s Office.
The children, some transported by local police and daycare staff, were evacuated in a school bus and flood rescue vehicles that maneuvered during the flood.
Jackson received more than 8.5 inches Tuesday through Wednesday, and parts of Mississippi received more.
Jackson saw 5.05 inches on Wednesday alone, making it the wettest August day on record for the city. And Jackson set a record for the wettest August on record with seven days remaining in the month – 11.57 inches, beating the previous mark of 11.51 inches set in 2008.
While rainfall is not expected to be as heavy or widespread Thursday as it has been for the past two days, more than 5.5 million people were still under flood watch Thursday morning from eastern Texas to Alabama – including half south of Jackson and Mississippi, the weather service said. .
Some spots in this area could see 2-4 inches, and with the ground already saturated, more flooding is possible.
Roads twist, train derails in heavy rain
The floods caused numerous street closures and damaged roads throughout the region.
In Newton County, Highway 489 buckled, creating a gaping hole that a truck appeared to have fallen into.
The weather service had warned residents not to drive on flooded roads, saying even a foot of water could wash away a small vehicle.
As heavy rain hit the area, the ground gave way under some tracks in Brandon and two pressurized train cars carrying carbon dioxide broke off a train and rolled into a 20-foot ditch, the official said. mayor.
Brandon officials said the derailment was not a danger to nearby neighborhoods.
There have also been several reports of water rushing into homes and businesses.
“I haven’t seen anything like it and I’ve been here for 21 years,” fellow Carthage resident Abraham Evans told the station.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled the first name of John Bilbro, a trustee of Peach Tree Village, and the name of the assisted living facility.
Caitlin Kaiser, Amanda Musa, Dave Hennen and CNN’s Jamiel Lynch contributed to this report.