South Delta crops growing despite The Great Flood of 2011 - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

South Delta crops growing despite The Great Flood of 2011

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ISSAQUENA COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Beautiful crops are growing in the South Delta despite The Great Flood of 2011.

The area north of the Backwater Levee was protected despite early predictions the levee would be topped.

The angry backwater was white capping with strong southerly winds, but the Backwater Levee, lined with polyethelene survived, holding as much as 17 feet of water off of the South Delta.

That happened despite the water getting just inches from going over the top.

Beautiful crops, like corn, are growing in an area that would have been underwater with the Backwater Levee, failing.

WLBT had a hard time finding farmers who would talk about what a blessing it was that the 1978 Backwater Levee held, but we did find one, John McPhail, 72, who farms about 100 acres near Fitler.

"Oh yeah the levee is doing it's thing," McPhail said. "So that's whats made this possible. Yeah, that levee, yeah. Yeah it would be six foot of water without it."

People like farmer Mike Brown on U.S. 61, just above the Backwater Levee, have built makeshift levees around their houses, just in case the levee failed.

There are some problems with seepage, under the Main Line Levee up in the Fitler area, which farmer John McPhail complained about.

"It all depends on the rain," McPhail said. "If we don't get the rain and the Mississippi keeps falling. This corn looks mighty good. Oh yeah, the corn looks good right now. I'll bet you are mightly glad that levee held. Of year, the levee doing it's thing. That's what made this possible. That's what made it possible, that levee, yeah."

The Main Line Levee System passed it toughest test yet, since it was built in the 1920's and 30's.

It is what kept the Mississippi River out of the Mississippi Delta and is performing magnificently, so far.

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