Now that floodwaters are going down, economic revival is slowly, but surely emerging again in Vicksburg. DiamondJacks Casino and Hotel, a major component of Vicksburg's revenue stream, re-opens Wednesday afternoon.
After more than one month out of business, it's lights and action again. DiamondJacks' Executive Vice President and General Manager, Felicia Gavin says, "It's a very exciting day for me as well as for my team."
Gavin says floodwaters damaged a showroom behind the casino, but there was no water damage within the casino itself. Gavin says being out of business has been challenging,"We operate 24/7, 365, so being closed 36 days is pretty substantial in terms of revenue to us as a casino as well as to the city of Vicksburg."
About one-fourth of Vicksburg's general fund comes from casinos. Millions of dollars were certainly lost each day casinos like DiamondJacks was closed because of the flood, but local officials say they'll be able to stomach the loss.
Vicksburg Mayor Paul Winfield says, "We made some wise financial decisions in the last year or so that have brought some savings."
In addition to the casino re-opening, Mayor Winfield says there's the possibility of good news for some residents impacted by the Vicksburg flooding.
"We want to offer them the opportunity, the unique opportunity, to move to higher ground and possibly do some sort of lease/purchase opportunities," says Mayor Winfield.
Despite all of the negative that's come out of the "Great Flood" of 2011, there have been many positives.
Bill Seratt, the Executive Director of the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau says, "There were days when Washington Street downtown was elbow to elbow with people who'd come to Vicksburg to take a look at the Mississippi River."
Copyright 2011 WLBT. All rights reserved.
Jefferson County Sheriff Peter Walker has identified the woman found dead in the cemetery of East Mount Olive Baptist Church Wednesday night.More >>