VPD goes door to door to warn about coming flood

Published 6:35 pm Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Vicksburg police made the rounds through Ford Subdivision and the Kings community Wednesday, spreading the warning of high water and getting information from residents in both areas in advance of the Mississippi River’s incursion into the neighborhoods.

The Mississippi is forecast to reach 50.5 feet at Vicksburg March 17. Ford and Kings begin to get floodwaters when the river reaches 44 feet. The river is forecast to reach 44.2 feet Saturday and 45.3 feet Sunday.

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Wednesday’s visit to Ford and Kings covered Eva, Ford and Williams streets in Ford Subdivision, and Railroad Alley, Hutson Street and other streets in the Kings community.

At each stop, officers asked residents if they had a place to go to escape the high water, the number of people living in the home and contact numbers. Officers also left emergency telephone numbers residents can call for help. If no one was home, information sheets were left in the doors of the homes.

“I’ve been here through a lot of floods,” said Gerald Maxey as he stood on the porch of his home on Ford Street. “I’ve usually stayed here. Every year, it gets worse and worse. I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

Maxey’s home sits about 12 feet off the ground on pilings, but he said that didn’t prevent water from getting into his home during the 2011 spring flood, when the river reached 57.1 feet.

“It got right there,” he said, pointing to a point about 4 feet up the front wall of the house. “Me and another guy came here in a boat, and put all the furniture up. When I got back after the flood, everything was scattered.”

Ida Lee Johnson, who lives at the corner of Railroad Avenue and Pittman Road, said the 2011 flood was the only time her home had water.

“I’ve lived in this neighborhood all my life,” she said. “2011 was the only time we got water in the lowest part of my house, up to the second step. We have a place to go if we have to leave.”

Another Railroad Alley resident, Lee Andrew Baker, said he would have to find someplace to go if he has to leave. Like Johnson, he said his house was never affected by flooding until 2011.

“In 2011, everyone had to go,” he said. “I’m not sure where I’ll go, but I’ll find some place.”

While the police were making their rounds, city employees were installing the floodgates at Clay and China streets.

“We’re continuing to get thing ready,” said North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield, who is over the city’s public works department. “We’re still watching the river.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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