Vicksburg prepares for record MS River flood - - Jackson, MS

Vicksburg prepares for record MS River flood

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Officials are working hard to get the word out that the 2011 Mississippi River flood is big, the second biggest on record, and it is coming fast.

The city of Vicksburg has already stacked cross ties 15 feet high to keep the Mississippi River levee from coming through the flood wall which protects the lower part of the city along Levee Street. They are getting ready to do the same at the foot of Clay Street.   

Governor Haley Barbour held a news conference to warn those who are affected by the big river to move to higher ground. 

"I am urging everyone who has property that will be affected by these flood levels, to determine if that property can be moved or elevated, or somehow protected and to do so as soon as practical," said Barbour. 

Vicksburg Mayor Paul Winfield held a news conference at Water's Edge to issue a similar warning to people. 

"We anticipate a record flood, what we are doing now is getting out ahead of it and informing the public and making sure they are fully aware of what's happening," said Winfield. 

Sheriff Martin Pace of Warren County is telling people to move now, if you have ever been affected by the river, you will be again and probably three feet higher. 

"There are very few people alive who can remember the effects of the flood of 1937, and I am afraid in this particular event, we are going to have water in places that have not been wet since 1937," said Pace. 

Kent Parrish, project manager for Mississippi River Levees for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is managing a project some 20 miles up the main line levee from Vicksburg, at Buck Shoot, that will surround sand boils on the Eagle Lake side of the river and raise the level of Eagle Lake by 10 feet. 

The wall at Clay Street tells the story. The river went to 53.2 feet in 1937 and it is going to 53.5 feet in 2011, the second highest on record.  

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