Vicksburg, Miss –The Vicksburg District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) will close the gates of the Steele Bayou Flood Control Structure due to higher water levels on the Mississippi and the Yazoo rivers. The projection date of the closure is tomorrow, 8 June 2013.
On 29 May 2013, the gates were opened to release water, decreasing water levels, and make farmlands accessible in the lower delta. Due to this gate opening, approximately 120 thousand acres of land were uncovered. The amount of days that the gates will remain closed is based on water levels on the Mississippi and Yazoo Rivers.
Presently, (Friday 7 June) the Mississippi River is approximately 37.8 feet at Vicksburg. The National Weather Service has estimated that the Mississippi River will crest at approximately 41 feet at Vicksburg on or about 17 June 2013.
The Corps will reevaluate water levels in the Yazoo Backwater area to determine the best date to re-open the gates. With no additional rainfall in the back water area, it is expected that the gates will remain closed for approximately 2 to 3 weeks.
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 primary mission of Vicksburg District’s four Mississippi lakes, backwater levees and structures is flood damage risk reduction. Since its inception, the Mississippi River and Tributaries flood risk reduction projects have cumulatively prevented approximately $ 612 billion of flood damage. For more information visit our website, www.mvk.usace.army.mil.
Release no. 13-059