Corps releases timeline for river flooding
Published 9:45 am Thursday, January 7, 2016
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District has released an estimated timeline for flooding in Vicksburg and Warren County, indicating when precautions will be taken and where certain areas in the city and county will begin going underwater.
“The information is based on data from the National Weather Service,” said Greg Raimondo, public relations chief for the Vicksburg District. “It (the timeline) is designed to help people understand what’s going to happen when the river rises, and when different streets and roads are going to be closed.”
He said a similar timeline was prepared for the 2011 flood, adding, “The 2011 flood also had the decline (when the flood would recede), but we’re not doing that with this flood now.”
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City and county officials met Wednesday morning for an update on preparations for the flood, and copies of the Corps timeline were distributed to agency heads.
Raimondo pointed out the timeline has a disclaimer, reminding people the predictions are based on the best information available and the timing of the flood events could vary from the present predictions.
The Mississippi River is predicted to crest at Vicksburg at 52.5 feet Jan. 15. The crest is 4.6 feet below the record 2011 flood crest and 1.5 feet more than the 2008 crest of 51 feet. The river was at 45.45 feet Wednesday. Flood stage is 43 feet.
According to the timeline, the Vicksburg District is currently in Phase I of its flood fight, where the Corps begins inspecting the levees that protect the area from the river. At 45.2 feet, the city’s South Street floodwall gate will close, and at 47.8 feet, the floodwall gate at Clay Street is expected to be closed. City officials said the floodgates will be closed and the remainder of the city’s floodwall is expected to be completed by Saturday.
Also at 46.5 feet, Mississippi 465, the main road to Eagle Lake will be under water, forcing Eagle Lake residents to use the levee road north of the community. At 50 feet, U.S. 61 Business (North Washington Street) south of Haining Road is expected to be underwater.
City officials said floodwater is already making its way into the Kings community and Ford Subdivision, and people have been evacuating the area.
Raimondo said the Corps was expected later to also be putting out inundation maps for the county showing which areas will be underwater during the flood.