Historic flooding of Mississippi's Pearl River forces evacuations: "Precarious situation that could turn at any moment"

Mississippi homes damaged by historic floods

Mississippi is in a state of emergency Monday morning after historic levels of flooding damaged at least 200 homes near the state capitol of Jackson. At least four people had to be rescued from their homes as the Pearl River's rising water flooded entire neighborhoods.

"I never dreamed 43 years ago I would be paddling up my driveway," Mississippi resident Dale Frazier told CBS News' Omar Villafranca.

Officials expect the Pearl River to crest at its highest point in over 35 years, and take until the end of the week to begin receding. Flood waters in Jackson filled streets and forced evacuations over the weekend.

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves called it "a precarious situation that could turn at any moment," as emergency crews used boats to bring people and pets trapped in their homes back to dry land after a reservoir near Jackson became overwhelmed and released more water into the flooded environment.

Reeves said the reservoir could "bring another 12 to 18 inches of water into the river," but that the "inflow and outflow" of water would lessen the strain on the reservoir pool and hopefully stabilize its water levels.

Residents waded through knee-deep water as others used boats to paddle their way down flooded streets. Multiple vehicles were caught in the flood waters, forcing their owners to use other means to escape the waters.

Officials urged those affected by flooding to be cautious, warning that calm-looking waters could mask fast-moving under-currents.

Mississippi flooding — Pearl River
Jackson, Miss., homeowners use shovels to work their way through Pearl River floodwater in this Jackson, Mississippi, neighborhood Sunday, February 16, 2020. AP