New projections released for Mississippi River levels - - Jackson, MS

New projections released for Mississippi River levels

WARREN COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

New projections released Monday about just how high the Mississippi River will rise. 

The Mississippi River at Vicksburg is now projected to crest at 56.2 feet. 

That would be the highest ever recorded, more than a foot higher than it crested in the flood of 1927.

In Natchez, the river will crest May 20 at 65 feet, that is 7 feet over the record of 58 feet. 

A view from the air shows extensive work being done on the ground to fortify the main line levee. 

The Army Corps of Engineers was putting pressure on sand boils before the water rises any higher.

"We're covering them with sand then putting water on top of that to help stabilize the area," said Kavanaugh Breazeale with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Vicksburg. "It's just better to be safe than sorry."

The Corps of Engineers has plans to increase the water level at Eagle Lake at 10 to 12 feet.  Many residents packed up this weekend just as a precaution.

"It is not going to be a flood issue," Warren Co. Sheriff Martin Pace said. "It is going to be an isolation issue that once the roadways become impassable the entire Eagle Lake community will be isolated."

But not everyone plans to run from the water. 

"Our plan is to stay here and ride this thing out," 53 year old Lou Parker said.

Parker has been through a number of floods in his lifetime.

Parker's house sits near the rising Chotard Lake on the other side of the levee. 

He said he is prepared.

"We'll leave our vehicles on the levee and put in our pontoon boat," Parker said.

His 90 year old mother, Melba, lives in a home nearby that's two centuries old. 

Expecting it to flood, Parker removed all her furniture.

"Every bit of it.  I had to," Parker said. "It's gonna be at least three inches of water over this floor." 

For now, they are just watching and waiting for the water to rise.

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