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Massive flooding prompted a state of emergency in Mississippi

The heavy rains and flooding has affected a wide area and prompted a state of emergency in Mississippi.

Historic levels of flooding damaged at least 200 homes near the state capitol of Jackson. Hundreds of people in Mississippi's capital have fled their homes. The Pearl River hit its third-highest level on record Sunday morning at 36.38 feet. Floodwaters lapped at mailboxes, street signs and cars. After the governor declared a state of emergency law enforcement officers went door to door urging people to leave. Residents paddled canoes, kayaks and small fishing boats to check on their houses. "We don't want to lose anyone as we respond to what is expected to be historic flood levels," the governor said. Residents won't be allowed to return home for days, emergency management officials declared.

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The first two weeks of the month have been extremely wet for the region with a large area seeing more than 175 millimeters (7 inches) of rain. February's rains have been 400 percent of normal. More rain is expected on Tuesday through Wednesday with some areas receiving up to 80mm. Mississippi faces a “precarious situation that can turn at any moment,” Gov. Tate Reeves said Sunday in Jackson. On Saturday night, officials released water from the nearby Barnett Reservoir to control its levels.

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