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Blaine Henderson, right, reaches to open a mailbox as he and his friend Jonah Valdez, both 12, play in the floodwaters of the Pearl River in northeast Jackson, Mississippi Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020.

Blaine Henderson, right, reaches to open a mailbox  as he and his friend Jonah Valdez, both 12, play in the floodwaters of the Pearl River in northeast Jackson, Mississippi Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020. (Photo: Rogelio V. Solis/AP)

"This Thing Isn't Over Yet": Officials Warn Flooding in Mississippi and Tennessee to Continue

More rain is expected through Tuesday, leading officials to sound the alarm. 

Eoin Higgins

As rainfall burst the banks of rivers across the two states, officials in Mississippi and Tennessee warned residents they are still in the path of more flooding as rain continues to hammer the soaked American South. 

"We have rain coming in between Sunday and Wednesday," said Rankin County, Mississippi emergency management director Mike Word. "The water is coming. It’s just slower than they said. We don't want the general public to lower their concern because this thing isn't over yet."

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves declared a state of emergency due to the flooding on Saturday. 

Jackson, just to the west of Rankin County, has been hit hard by flooding from the Pearl River, which reached its third-highest mark in recorded history Sunday morning. 

Further north, in Tennessee's Hardin County, floodwaters spilled over roadways and houses were swept away by swollen rivers.

"Spring flooding is already underway in the South," said climate journalist Eric Holthaus. "It's February."

"We are in a climate emergency," he added.

There are 10 million people in the South under flood warnings, according to NBC News

"It's going to be a long spring across the country," tweeted meteorologist Dr. Samantha Montano.

Though the flood waters are expected to recede quickly after the current storm system clears out, those waters will present their own dangers. 

The damage from the flooding could be catastrophic, Jackson resident Nate Green told MSN

"One of the reasons people come and live down here is because they want to be close to the woods, close to the river, so they can ride four wheelers, hike, do that kind of stuff and this is part of what you pay," said Green. "It's going to be financially crushing to a lot of people."

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