Vicksburg District

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Posted 8/6/2015

Release no. 15-050

Greg Raimondo

VICKSBURG, Miss… The Steele Bayou Flood Control Structure will be opened Saturday, August 8, 2015. The Steele Bayou structure is located north of Vicksburg and was built in 1969 to provide backwater flood protection from the Yazoo and Mississippi rivers.

The Steele Bayou Flood Control Structure gates were closed in June of this year because of the unusual high water levels this summer. Heavy rains in the backwater area in early July raised the water levels on the land side of Steele Bayou Flood Control Structure to 87.3 feet inundating thousands of acres of the lower Delta. Normal levels for this time of year are 68 to 70 feet.

Steele Bayou helps protect The Yazoo National Wildlife Refuge and Swan Lake by diverting silt laden waters that would accumulate over time and sends it through the Steele Bayou Structure out to the Yazoo River and eventually into the Mississippi River. The Yazoo National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1936 and consists of 12,941 acres of prime habitat for wildlife and waterfowl.

The Vicksburg District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 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 balances a limited budget while engaged in hundreds of projects throughout the district boundary.