Flood Control ProjectFOR MORE THAN 100 YEARS, HEADWATER FLOODING OF THE PEARL RIVER HAS CAUSED DISRUPTION TO BUSINESSES AND INDUSTRY THROUGHOUT THE JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI METROPOLITAN AREA, PUTTING OVER 5,000 COMMERCIAL AND RESIDENTIAL STRUCTUREs,several Hospitals and interstate highways AT RISK OF FLOOD DAMAGE.
History of the District
By the early 1960’s, the levee project that would eventually see the construction of east and west side segments (two and eleven miles) of levees including straightening and channelization of the Pearl. As part of that process, the District was organized on May 9, 1962 – roughly five months after another of the Pearl’s many floods, when the river crested at 37.3 feet and caused major damage to the Flowood area in December 1961. That incident was illustrative of the all-too-common flood events which the District was organized to prevent.
Leaders of the Town (now City) of Flowood had filed the petition for the District’s creation, and were joined by the City of Jackson and Hinds and Rankin Counties. The District’s formation followed a preliminary study by the US Army Corps of Engineers, concluding flood and drainage control improvements benefiting the area encompassed by the proposed District were feasible.
The District initially included parts of only two municipalities: Jackson and Flowood. Its original Board of Directors, therefore, included representatives appointed by Rankin County, Hinds County, Jackson, and Flowood. The Corps of Engineers completed the levee system in 1967, straightening and channelizing the Pearl River that once wound its way between Hinds and Rankin Counties into the linear river we know today. Upon completion of the levee project, the Corps turned control of the levees over to the District.
As western Rankin County began to develop, the municipalities of Pearl and Richland grew to encompass River-adjacent areas included within the District’s jurisdiction. Today, the District’s Board of Directors includes the Mayors of Flowood, Jackson, Pearl, and Richland; representatives appointed by the Hinds and Rankin County Boards of Supervisors; and a representative appointed by the State of Mississippi.