Winter rainfall records broken across the southeastern US

State of emergency declared in the Mississippi capital as the Pearl River continues to rise.

    People use shovels to paddle their way through Pearl River floodwaters in Jackson, Mississippi [Rogelio V Solis [AP]
    People use shovels to paddle their way through Pearl River floodwaters in Jackson, Mississippi [Rogelio V Solis [AP]

    It has been a very wet winter across much of the southeastern United States with many cities recording well above average rainfall amounts.

    The first two weeks of the month have been extremely wet for the region with a large area seeing more than 175 millimetres (7 inches) of rain.

    For some cities, this winter has already been the wettest to date. From December 1 last year to February 15, Columbia, South Carolina had 457mm (18in), Greenville, South Carolina with 557mm (21.94in), and Starkville, Mississippi recorded 676mm (26.61in).

    All that rain eventually needs to go somewhere and for the southeast, which is into the rivers and tributaries that eventually lead to the Gulf of Mexico. That process of draining into the open Gulf can take days if not weeks.

    One of those rivers that are being impacted is the Pearl River in Mississippi. It runs through Jackson, the state's capital, and passed major flood state on Sunday morning at 10.97 metres (36 feet).

    The area has not seen the river this high in 37 years.

    The state's governor, Tate Reeves, said with the latest river projections, officials expect the Pearl River to continue to rise and crest sometime on Monday near northeast Jack, and later in the day in downtown Jackson.

    Several parts of Jackson are under evacuation orders.

    While Monday is forecast to be a relatively dry day across the southeast, more rain is expected on Tuesday through Wednesday with some areas receiving up to 80mm (3in). Then another round of storms could move through the region towards the end of the week.

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    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies