Flood worries eased by new crest forecast, but praise still to our government officials

Published 9:37 am Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Based on the most recent National Weather Service forecast for the Mississippi River, it would appear Vicksburg and its sister cities in Mississippi along the river have dodged a bullet.

The slow reduction of the Mississippi’s crest over the past few weeks from a predicted 54 feet to the present 50.5 feet has begun to put city, county emergency management, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and state officials a little more at ease than they were this time last week, although they still realize we are not yet out of the woods as far as flooding is concerned.

The lower predicted crest has not meant there won’t be severe flooding in some of the area’s lower spots and those areas closest to the river. Nor does the lower prediction mean the floodwaters are receding. All it takes is a short drive north and south to realize there is a lot of water surrounding some parts of the county and inundating roads and homes — some inside the city limits at Ford Subdivision and the Kings community.

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And as our local, state and federal officials realize, what we are experiencing now may only be a harbinger of more to come as the winter months make their way into spring and the possibility of more wet weather in the upper Mississippi Valley. National Weather Service experts are already predicting an above average spring flood threat.

If there is one positive note to come out of this early flood, it is the cooperation of our local, state and federal officials who early on recognized the danger posed by what was then a very severe threat and worked together to get ready for a potential serious disaster.

City and county officials met and developed a response plan.

They communicated and kept each other up to date on the flooding. Police officers and sheriff’s deputies went out and began warning residents in the flood-prone areas to get out early rather than wait and be trapped by rising water.

We were ready if it came, we can  now relax some, but we’re not home free, and hopefully, our officials will not get too comfortable and continue watching the river. We still have a long way to go.