Mississippi rising again with rain north of city

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 9, 2002

[05/08/02]Rain north of Vicksburg has the Mississippi rising again, but forecasters say the river’s level should top out 2 feet below flood stage a little more than two weeks from now.

An early spring rise, cresting here at 41.7 feet on April 13 was followed by a shortlived fall. Movement toward a second crest then started and the new forecast is 41 feet on May 24.

Angelo Delessandro, a forecaster at the National Weather Service center in Slidell, La., said the next few days to a week will make the difference.

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“Some of this (predicted rise) is due to forecast rain and some is due to what’s already on the ground,” Delessandro said.

A deluge upstream over the next week could cause problems and result in flooding young crops north and south of Vicksburg. Without significant rainfall, the river should stay in its banks.

Today’s reading at Vicksburg is 36.4 feet and the forecast shows a steady rise. Flood stage is 43 feet.

Historically, the heaviest flooding usually follows snowmelt much earlier in the year but not always “It’s not unusual to get a rise in the spring,” Delessandro said, even this late.

While 2000 and 2001 experienced no readings above 43 feet here, a 1998 crest near 45 feet occurred in May.