Area rain up 10 inches over normal for 2 months

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 29, 2002

[10/29/02]]September and October are supposed to be dry months, but no one told a couple of tropical storms named Isidore and Lili.

As a result of those and other storms for two months, Vicksburg area rainfall is more than 10 inches over normal.

Those who work inside often look on rain as an inconvenience, but it can be devastating to people who work outside, namely farmers and construction people.

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The normal rainfall for September and October is about 5.75 inches, but this year the total is 16.28 inches, or 10.52 inches more than the norm.

Fall is when cotton and soybeans are harvested from vast fields in this area, but Sharkey County Cooperative Extension Service agronomist John Coccaro figures about 50 percent of the cotton is still out in lower Delta fields.

Warren County Extension director Terry Rector said 35 to 40 percent of the soybean crop still has to be harvested.

Farmers face loss of the crop or deterioration of quality when conditions are too wet to harvest.

There are also fall crops yet unplanted. “There are still some out there who want to plant a little wheat,” Rector said. Cutting hay has also been impeded.

For those in construction, “it isn’t pretty,” said Dan Fordice of Fordice Construction Co. All construction companies have things they can do in the shop, such as repairing and maintaining equipment, but that’s work they usually do in November and December.

“We’ve got two crews in the shop right now piddling and it isn’t even the rainy season,” Fordice said.

Lynn Wolfe of ABMB Engineers said the rain has affected work his company does for Warren County.

“This has set some things back, but contractors have worked around the weather and worked when they could,” he said.

Although considerable rain has fallen across Mississippi and has filled the four flood control reservoirs in north Mississippi, the extra water is not causing any problems along the lower Yazoo River, near Vicksburg. The Vicksburg District Corps of Engineers is releasing extra water from from the reservoirs to prepare for rains later this fall and winter.

The Corps has done considerable work improving the channel of the Yazoo from about Greenwood south and the channel is able to handle the extra water, said Joe Hendricks of the local district headquarters.