Ahead of expected Miss. flooding, mayor urges people to “get out now”
▶ Watch Video: Wildfires, tornadoes and flash flooding grip parts of the U.S.
Severe weather continues to sweep across the country as heavy rains bring floods to Mississippi, tornadoes touch down in the Twin Cities and fires burn in the West.
Gov. Tate Reeves declared a state of emergency in Mississippi amid concerns that flooding could inundate parts of the state’s largest city. Residents in Jackson are being urged to evacuate as dangerously high rivers threaten to flood streets and homes.
“If you are capable of getting out now, get out now. Get out as soon as possible,” Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said at a news conference Saturday.
The warning comes as the Pearl River near Jackson begins to overflow. Persistent rain this past week caused the river to rise, and now at least 100 homes are expected to face flooding.
“We went through the flood in 2020. Never thought it would happen this quick,” said Anitra Holder, who lives in North Jackson.
She and her husband lost their home in the last major flood two years ago and just finished rebuilding. Now they’re worried they’ll have to do it all over again.
“Our whole home was flooded out. We had to have our whole house gutted inside out,” she said.
In Minnesota, wind gusts up to 85 mph sent tree branches flying across streets and into buildings. Officials near the Twin Cities say four tornadoes briefly touched down over the weekend, causing a trail of destruction.
In the West, the Rum Creek Fire near Medford, Oregon, nearly doubled in size Sunday to more than 10,000 acres. The fire is burning in a remote area, making it tough for firefighters to gain control.
“Steep terrain, tall timber, heavy fuels, the river. There’s a lot going on,” said Nancy Barker, the air operations branch director for the fire.
Crews are relying heavily on air support to fight the flames, which have already destroyed several structures and forced hundreds to evacuate. Officials say 25-year-old firefighter Logan Taylor died while battling the blaze after being struck by a falling tree.