Farmers Hit Hard By Flood - - Jackson, MS

Vicksburg 04/28/08

Farmers Hit Hard By Flood

By Julie Straw

For farmers, water is a delicate element.  They never want their crops to have too little or too much.  But the flood waters in Warren County are making it impossible to control.   Along with the 145 Vicksburg residents displaced by the water, farmers are watching and waiting as the river slowly recedes.

Follow the long rows of corn on the Ballground Plantation and they'll lead you to water.  1,500 acres of land intended for corn, soy beans and wheat are now submerged about ten feet of water.

"How much is it costing you?" I asked.  "There's no telling.  More than I want to stand," Karsten Simrall of Ballground Plantation said.  "Hundreds of thousands?" I asked.  "To say the least, yeah," he said.

Simrall has gone through this before.  The farm has been in the family since the late 1800s and each generation has faced flood after flood.  "There's nothing you can do. It's in the hands of the Lord. There's nothing you can do," Simrall said.

The current river level is 50.2 feet.  "We're really cautioning people to stay out of the areas if you don't have any reason to be in there please stay out.  It's just a sit and wait now.  Just to continue doing what we're doing and wait for the water to go down," said Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace.

The Sheriff's department continues to patrol flooded neighborhoods by boat while the city has set up an action center to help flood victims.

A task force was created monday to address housing needs as the water dries up.  "The task force was put together to put the creative minds and moneys together for the better so this doesn't happen again and again," said Anna Booth, Director of Vicksburg Emergency Management.

City officials say their offices are quiet as nearly 150 Vicksburg residents watch and wait for the water to come down.  To check updates on the Mississippi river levels you can call 601-801-3443.  Vicksburg also has an action hot line to call for any questions or assistance. That number is 601-636-3411.

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