Late-winter river level may have topped out

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 6, 2001

Phillip Evans, 21, wades through a flooded field along Long Lake Road Monday afternoon while trying to catch buffalo fish. Several large fish could be seen in the flooded field. (The Vicksburg Post/PAT SHANNAHAN)

[03/06/01] The Mississippi River was at 39.6 feet on the Vicksburg gauge Tuesday and all gauges upstream were recording drops, meaning the late-winter rise may have topped out.

The National Weather Service is still predicting a crest at 40 feet Wednesday, exactly 3 feet below flood stage.

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletter

Receive daily headlines and obituaries

Emergency management people are keeping a close watch on the water levels, but there have been no evacuations.

“It’s just an inconvenience right now,” said Warren County Emergency Management Office director L.W. Callaway, pointing out the major problems now are people being forced to take alternate routes to and from their homes.

Also, signs have been put up to warn people of water over several roads in the county.

The main flow is water coming down the Mississippi from storms that marched across the country 10 to 14 days ago.

Officials at the forecast center in Slidell, La., are predicting the river will fall slowly by Thursday and the rate of fall should accelerate Friday and thereafter.

Starting in the far northwest corner of the county, the county Highway Department has closed Laney’s Camp Road and Ziegler Road, both on the banks of Lake Chotard. The flooding there is from the Mississippi as the roads and the lake are located between the Mainline Mississippi River Levee and the river.

Coming south, water is across the Long Lake Road about a mile north of the Long Lake Community. Water is also across Chickasaw Road between the E.W. Haining Industrial Center and the Kings Point Ferry.

Highway crews also had to close the eastern end of Warriors Trail near where it joins U.S. 80 because of water from the Big Black River.

Callaway said water has not gotten high enough to cause anyone to move out of their homes.

The once highly populated Long Lake community has become almost deserted as residents moved to avoid frequent flooding.

“We haven’t had any calls for help yet,” said Oscar Barnes, executive director of the Vicksburg Area Chapter of the American Red Cross.

He said the Red Cross is able to help people if they are forced from their homes, either from water in the home or having access cut off.

Spring is flood season along the Mississippi and its tributaries. Highest stages of the year are normally recorded in April or May.