Vicksburg District

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Posted 6/30/2015

Release no. 15-042

Eugene Wall

Vicksburg, Miss –The Fourth of July is one of the busiest holidays at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District. We encourage visitors to have fun, be safe and expect the unexpected. Please practice the following safety tips this Fourth of July.

Wear a life jacket.
Accidents happen, even to responsible boaters. A life jacket can provide time for rescue. Statistics show that 90 percent of those who drown at Corps lakes and waterways would have survived if they had worn a life jacket. Drowning is the nation’s second leading cause of accidental death.

Know your swimming ability.
Swim in designated areas and wear a life jacket. Swimming in open water is more difficult than in a swimming pool. Conditions can change quickly in open water and a swimmer can tire quickly and get into trouble. A life jacket will help conserve energy and provide flotation.

Be a “Water Watcher.”
When on or near the water watch your children. Drowning happens quickly and quietly and a child can drown in 20 seconds. A drowning victim’s head will be back and they will be gasping for air, they will not be yelling. Watch closely.

Keep a Weather Eye on the horizon.
Know the difference between a Thunderstorm Warning and Watch. The best defense against thunderstorms is to stay inside a sturdy building or shelter that can protect you from deadly lightning, large hail, damaging winds, flooding rain and tornadoes. Postpone outdoor activities until the storms have passed. If caught outside, take shelter in a sturdy enclosed building or hard top automobile immediately. Avoid open spaces, isolated objects, high ground and metallic objects.
Get out of boats and away from bodies of water. Remember, if you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning.

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 the Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana lakes, backwater levees and structures is flood damage risk reduction. These areas have over 7 million annual visitors, supporting approximately 2,200 jobs and adding approximately $140 million into the local economies.