River above flood state, still rising

Published 10:59 am Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Mississippi River is officially out of its banks and is expected to continue to rise for more than a week.

The river was at 43.63 Wednesday. Flood stage is 43 feet, but some flooding begins occurring at 35 feet.

“Long Lake Road and the Chickasaw road area are already affected,” Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace said. “The majority of the flooding now is effecting agricultural land and it’s flooding roadways that hamper access to some areas that lie west of U.S. 61.”

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Laney Camp and Ziegler roads at Eagle Lake were also flooded.

“All of the structures on Laney Camp and Zeigler are built significantly off the ground,” Pace said. “They’re all elevated, so none of the structures in that area are actually affected.”

The river is predicted to crest at about 45 feet Thursday, July 16 but the forecast could change depending on precipitation in Arkansas, Missouri and the Ohio River Valley, National Weather Service senior hydrologist Marty Pope said.

“There’s a lot that can still happen between now and then,” Pope said.

The Ohio River began to crest Tuesday and the Arkansas River was more swollen than usual due to heavy rain across the state caused by the El Nino weather cycle, Pope said.

“As long as the Arkansas River stays up like it is, that’s pushing a lot more flow down than it was in March,” Pope said. “If the Ohio River could start falling out, any rain that falls in the Ohio Valley would fill in behind the crest. It’s hard to turn a river around once it starts to fall.”

Both the Ohio and Arkansas rivers are significantly higher than in March when the river at Vicksburg reached it’s spring crest of 42.9 feet, Pope said.

When the Mississippi at Vicksburg reaches 44 feet, Ford and Kings subdivisions began to flood at Pittman Road and Mary’s Alley. At 45 feet, water moves over Williams Street, Warren County floodplain manager John Elfer said.

Elfer advised drivers to obey traffic signs and not drive though flooded areas.

“There’s a lot of hazards out there in that water,” Elfer said.

Pace cautioned sightseers against going to look at flooded property.

“Stay out of the flooded area. It goes without saying that it’s dangerous to be trying to travel in the flooded areas, but its’ also very disrespectful to the property owners,” Pace said. “Sometimes a vehicle coming through can cause further damage to property. If you don’t own property or live in the effective area, you don’t need to be up there in it.”

Pace said deputies in boats and four-wheel drive trucks are routinely patrolling flooded areas.