Electricity restored for some along, near North Washington

Published 11:45 am Thursday, May 26, 2011

Power is returning to areas where Entergy Mississippi had cut electricity due to floodwater, including the popular Klondyke eatery on North Washington Street.

Through Wednesday, the utility had reconnected 148 customers in the past week, leaving 243 still out of power, Entergy spokesman Don Arnold said.

Spots around Falk Steel Road and the restaurant were reconnected Wednesday afternoon, Arnold said.

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“It’s a positive,” Arnold said. “At least we’ve seen a major commercial customer turned back on.”

Inspectors with the Buildings and Inspections Department OK’d the building for electricity this week. Floodwater pooled between First East Street and the Port of Vicksburg closed that section of North Washington and shuttered the business, prompting the use of sump pumps and wet-dry vacuums to save the interior. Water is still on the lot, but has receded from the dining floor, owner David Day said.

Levels on the Mississippi River in Vicksburg continued a slow fall overnight, dropping two-tenths of a foot to 55.2 this morning.

Inspections of U.S. 61 north and south of Vicksburg continued today, Mississippi Department of Transportation Central District Engineer Kevin Magee said.

Six “blisters coming up from the road” have been seen through remaining floodwaters by MDOT engineers, Magee said, but no foundation failures have been confirmed so far.

The road has been closed at Redwood and at the Big Black River for nearly three weeks, as has Mississippi 465. Findings should determine structural integrity, which will dictate when highways reopen, Magee said.

Levels at the Steele Bayou Control Structure were 104.36 feet on the river side, down four-tenths of a foot, and 89.89 feet on the land side, nearly unchanged. Stages should equalize around June 20, when the Corps expects to open gates there and gradually close the Muddy Bayou Control Structure near Eagle Lake, according to current estimates.

On Wednesday, a link was added to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Vicksburg District website, which explains how to file a legal claim for property damage or personal injury stemming from the engineered rise in Eagle Lake to address a sand boil.

Federal law requires claims be filed within two years of the act causing the damage or injury. Claimants may file suits in federal court if cases aren’t decided in six months, or, if they are decided, within six months of a final action on the case by the government.

Completed claim forms may be sent to the Vicksburg District Office of Counsel, according to a process statement.

The Corps opened the Muddy Bayou Control Structure to raise the lake about 12 feet to ease pressure on the mainline levee at Buck Chute. A sand boil on the earthen barrier was enclosed with a 2-acre berm. The lake has held at 89.7 feet for several days. Ideal stage is 76.9 feet.