Much more work due to repair after area flooding

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 23, 2003

[04/22/03] Crews are continuing cleanup and repairs from heavy rains more than two weeks ago, but officials say the work isn’t nearly complete yet.

Warren County supervisors authorized emergency repairs Monday to a large wash on the side of Douglas Road as a result of the April 6 rainfall. Separately, the city board authorized payments of nearly $50,000 in emergency repairs and cleanup.

Vicksburg Fire Chief Keith Rogers said this morning that Memorial Fire Station No. 2 on Indiana Avenue will be temporarily closed until May 15 and the two fire trucks moved to Central Fire Station and Station 8 at Halls Ferry Park due to flood damage. He said the floor tile and baseboards will have to be replaced in the city’s newest fire station because of water damage.

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The repairs to the fire station will cost about $12,000, Rogers said.

“This is the first part only,” said Lorene Arnold, director of purchasing for the city. “It’s ongoing and there will be more.”

The bulk of the city’s cost so far, which has included office supplies and tree removal, has been repairs to the sewer plant. Last week, city officials said the estimated cost of repairs to the waste water treatment plant from flooding is $1.5 million.

The plant on Rifle Range Road was flooded with 3 to 4 feet of water after Hatcher and Stouts bayous overflowed following about 8.31 inches of rain on April 6.

The heavy downpours also caused mudslides throughout the area, closing several roads and forcing school officials to cancel classes on April 7. Winds with the storm also damaged the roof at Redwood Elementary.

The cost of repairs to the school’s roof will be $54,900.

City officials say insurance may cover the cost of repairs to the facility, and county officials say they will seek funds from the Natural Resource Conservation Service for work on Douglas Road. Warren County has also applied for $144,000 from the NRCS to make emergency repairs on Possum Hollow Road, Bell Bottom Road, Roy Young Road, Ridgelawn Drive and Dana Road.

Funding is also being sought from the Mississippi Department of Transportation for emergency replacement of a bridge on Freetown and Possum Hollow roads.

About 51 homes in Vicksburg and Warren County were considered to have major damage, and some residents had to be evacuated from their homes. Both local governments and the state declared an emergency following the storm.

Damage assessments are being prepared to be forwarded to the Federal Emergency Management Agency as part of the request for a presidential declaration of disaster. That could release federal funding to help with the cleanup and repairs.