Gates are closed at Steele Bayou Drainage Structure because of r - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Gates are closed at Steele Bayou Drainage Structure because of rising river

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
ISSAQUENA COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Engineers have action plans to keep the flooding at bay. The Delta's risk is less because of structures already in place.

The Corps of Engineers closed the gates at the Steele Bayou Drainage Structure Wednesday morning.

"The Mississippi River became higher than Steele Bayou so water was not flowing out anymore," explained U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Acting Chief for Water Control Matthew Parrish. "The gates were closed to prevent Mississippi River water from backing into the backwater area."

The easiest way to explain the Steele Bayou structure is like a bathtub plug. Now that the gates are closed, any rainfall will pile up in the backwater area.

"We still have influx from last weeks rain coming down the system and it'll reach the backwater area," said Parrish.

With the minimum crest they're expecting on the Yazoo Backwater side, at least 280,000 acres will flooded. But there's a plus side. This is considered the non-crop season. So, there's not as many concerns for farmers. Engineers say there would have been major flooding in the Delta in 2011 if it hadn't been for the structure.

Thursday, some hunters were clearing out their deer camp that will likely be flooded in the backwater area.

"We found some high ground," said McKay Holmes. "Pretty much wherever there's no water, there's a lot of animals right now. Just taking advantage of that I guess."

As of sunset Tuesday, deer hunting season is now temporarily closed along the River.

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