By Tuesday, the water supply district lower the release to 55,250 cubic feet per second.
“The lake responded favorably overnight, dropping to a more comfortable level and we made the move early [Tuesday] morning in hopes of easing flood conditions downstream,” said Sigman, who added that further reductions were anticipated.
Authorities have been going door-to-door in the hardest-hit areas to tell people to evacuate. Local law enforcement conducted another 16 assisted evacuations on Monday.
The record crest for the Pearl River is 43.28 feet, set in 1979. The river has topped 36 feet only seven times and not once since 1983, but that changed on Saturday night as the water level rose above 36 feet for the eighth time.
Reeves issued a state of emergency declaration on Saturday to deploy the necessary resources to help those impacted.
“This is a historic, unprecedented flood,” Reeves said on Twitter over the weekend.
More rain is in the forecast this week, as persistent rounds of storms take aim at the South.
“Please do not move back into your neighborhood, or into your home until authorities and officials give you the OK to do so,” he said.
As the week progresses, the flood threat is expected to focus on areas farther downstream, which includes the city of Columbia in Marion County. Current forecasts show the river reaching moderate flood stage and cresting at around 25 feet on Sunday.
“While discharges from Barnett Reservoir are decreasing and the river levels are dropping in Jackson, we caution downstream communities that the National Weather Service is predicting a rise in the lower Pearl due to rainfall. Local rainfall can result in flash flooding anywhere along the Pearl River.
“We as a state are not in the clear yet,” Reeves said.
There have been no reports of injuries at this time, but officials expect the number of damaged homes to be in the “hundreds” and possibly near a thousand.
Michel credited residents in the evacuation areas for following orders and not jeopardizing the lives of first responders.
Over 156,000 sandbags have been distributed throughout the area and the Jackson Police Training Academy, which was being used as a temporary shelter, still had space for those who needed to evacuate.