RANKIN COUNTY, MIss. (WJTV) – Barnett Reservoir officials said the 33,000-acre lake stabilized overnight, allowing them to hold the release of water through the dam to lower than expected amounts Sunday morning, which should reduce the peak of downstream flooding.
After a 9 a.m. National Weather Service conference call, the forecast crest of the river in Jackson was lowered half a foot to 37.5 on the Highway 80 gauge and is now set for Monday morning.
“At about 3 a.m., we saw the lake respond to our incremental increases of discharge and we decided not to make our last increase to a rate of 80,000 cubic feet per second,” said John Sigman, General Manager of the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District. “We stayed with a 78,000 CFS release and now plan to reduce that to 76,000 CFS at 10 a.m. We plan to hold at that release level for 18 to 24 hours and monitor both the lake and the river. We need to recover storage space in the lake, because the forecast is calling for one to two inches of rain on Tuesday.”
Sigman said by keeping outflow in line with or ahead of the inflows, the lake can recover storage space.