More rain expected in Mississippi as dangerous flooding forces rescues

State of Emergency declared amid Mississippi floods

Jackson, Mississippi — More rain is expected in Jackson, Mississippi, Tuesday, as the region deals with a state of emergency brought on by historic floods. Rivers are also overflowing in Arkansas, Alabama and Tennessee.

In Jackson, the only way to get around some neighborhoods is by boat. The Mississippi Wildlife Department took CBS News to some of the hardest-hit areas, where front lawns were flooded with three feet of water.

Most of the residents there have evacuated. But Major Dale Bell said the department's special response team has already rescued at least 18 people from their flooded homes.

"Some of the rescues, people that just got up and their houses were surrounded by water. Elderly people couldn't get up," Bell said.

The Pearl River crested at more than 37 feet Monday, nine feet above flood stage. Officials are warning about what's in the water including sewage, chemicals and even "small alligators," according to Bell.

It's been one of the wettest winters for much of the Southeast. Across the border, southwest Tennessee has received nearly eight inches more rainfall this year than normal, leading to a landslide in Hardin County that sent two homes crashing onto the banks of the Tennessee River. In Jackson, more than 25 inches have fallen.

Severe Weather Mississippi
Trash and debris from the Pearl River floodwaters clog part of the Hanging Moss Creek Water in Jackson, Mississippi, Monday, February 17, 2020.  Rogelio V. Solis / AP