Vicksburg, MISS --
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Vicksburg District is conducting daily patrols across the entirety of its jurisdiction as a part of its flood fight efforts due to elevated river stages across the region. At this time, all of the mainline Mississippi River gages in the Vicksburg District’s jurisdiction are experiencing major or moderate flooding, according to the National Weather Service.
Technical experts from the Vicksburg District office and the Greenwood and Vidalia area offices are deploying to inspect and monitor flood control works, such as levees, floodwalls, reservoirs and relief wells, to ensure that they continue to function as designed. These patrols will continue as long as elevated water levels persist. The district has observed no significant sand boils or seepage at flood control sites.
The Vicksburg District has approximately 60 personnel working to support local, state and federal officials with technical expertise and flood-fight material as needed. The district’s four flood control reservoirs, Enid, Grenada, Sardis and Arkabutla lakes, are being used to hold runoff, or excess rainwater, as a flood-prevention measure. The Vicksburg District has issued 11,000 sandbags to various locations in the region.
“We are experiencing above average rainfall across the region, and that rainfall has caused some water levels to reach historic elevations,” said Drew Smith, chief of Water Management at the Vicksburg District. “For example, the Yazoo River between Yazoo City and Belzoni, Mississippi, is higher than its elevation during the historic 2011 flood due to a combination of Mississippi River backwater and heavy local rainfall across the Yazoo River Basin. The Yazoo Backwater area is also forecasted to potentially reach its highest elevation since 1979.” On the district’s flood fight efforts, Smith said, “Our team, along with our local, state and federal partners, continue to diligently monitor flood control works.”
The National Weather Service has forecasted the Mississippi River to crest at the Arkansas City, Arkansas, gage at 44.5 feet by March 10; the Greenville, Mississippi, gage at 56.8 by March 11; the Vicksburg, Mississippi, gage at 51.5 feet by March 13; and the Natchez, Mississippi, gage at 58 feet by March 15.
Citizens are encouraged to contact their local authorities and management officials for updates about conditions in their area and should avoid activities on or near flood control works. Citizens should also be advised that the gates at Steele Bayou have been closed since Feb. 15 and will remain closed as the flood fight continues.
The Vicksburg District encompasses a 68,000-square-mile area across portions of Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana that holds seven major river basins and incorporates approximately 460 miles of mainline levees. The district is engaged in hundreds of projects and employs approximately 1,000 personnel.