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Vicksburg District opens gates of the Steele Bayou Control Structure

Published March 3, 2020

VICKSBURG, Miss. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Vicksburg District opened the gates of the Steele Bayou Control Structure, located approximately 10 miles north of Vicksburg, Mississippi, March 3.

The Steele Bayou Control Structure, which was built in 1969, combined with the Mississippi River and Yazoo Backwater levees, prevents the Yazoo and Mississippi rivers from backing up and further flooding the Delta.

Due to rainfall in the Mississippi Valley and Yazoo Basin in February 2020, the Steele Bayou Control Structure’s gates have been closed since Feb. 27. The structure’s gates are opened when elevations on the Mississippi River fall below the elevation of water in the interior Yazoo Backwater area. 

National Weather Service forecasts indicate that the Mississippi River will continue to fall slowly over the next seven days.

“We have caught a break with the rainfall pattern over the past few weeks and are grateful that stages on the Mississippi River and its tributaries are gradually falling,” said Vicksburg District Commander Col. Robert Hilliard. “We remain vigilant as we enter the spring rainy season with an already elevated Mississippi River and interior Yazoo backwater area.”

District personnel and local partners will continuing to monitor the conditions of flood control works, including levees, flood walls and pumping stations across the district’s jurisdiction. The district has observed no significant issues at its flood control sites.

Citizens are encouraged to contact local authorities and management officials for updates about conditions in their area and should avoid activities on or near flood control works.

The Vicksburg District is engineering solutions to the nation’s toughest challenges. The 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 Mississippi River levees. The district is engaged in hundreds of projects and employs approximately 1,100 personnel.


Jessica Dulaney
601-631-5818 (cell)

Release no. 20-020