Rogelio V. Solis/AP Photo
VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) — Gov. Phil Bryant has declared a state of emergency ahead of expected January flooding along the Mississippi River.
The state of emergency covers all counties along the Mississippi River, its tributaries and any other parts of the state that may be affected.
“We are told this flood will be just below the historic record flood of 2011,” Bryant said in a Wednesday news release. “Our citizens have time to prepare and should begin taking actions now.”
Mississippi Emergency Management Agency officials said Natchez, Vicksburg and Tunica can expect close to record river levels in January.
Agency spokesman Greg Flynn told WAPT-TV that once the water rises above 43 feet in Vicksburg, deer hunting season along the Mississippi River will close. The river was at 38 feet Wednesday morning and rising.
The Vicksburg Post reports that officials there began putting flood plans in place on Tuesday. That includes a system to notify residents in the Kings community and Ford Subdivision west of the Kansas City Southern Railroad tracks to evacuate if necessary.
“The National Weather Service is forecasting the crest to begin in Tunica on Jan. 10, Greenville on Jan. 14, Vicksburg on Jan. 16, and Natchez on Jan. 18,” the governor’s office news release said. “The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency is coordinating with state agencies, county emergency managers, the U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers, volunteer organizations and levee boards on planning and response activities.”