MDOT allows traffic back on Mississippi 465
Published 8:51 pm Tuesday, March 27, 2018
The Mississippi Department of Transportation has reopened Mississippi 465 to traffic.
Kevin Magee, Central District engineer, said the main access to Eagle Lake was reopened about 4:30 p.m. Monday.
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Magee, however, indicated the highway could be closed again sometime in April.
“The Corps (of Engineers) and the National Weather Service have predicted that it may flood again next month, so we may have to block off the road again,” he said, adding MDOT workers have cleared off the road and moved everything off the shoulder in case the area floods again. “There is no need to fully remove everything if we have to go back in and do it all again later.”
“We have cleared the road and removed the debris so people can use it,” he said.
MDOT officials closed the highway March 5 when the Mississippi River reached 46.04 feet as it headed toward a 50-foot crest on March 17, forcing Eagle Lake Residents to take the backwater levee road to get to Vicksburg. The river’s stage Tuesday was 43.71 feet.
National Weather Service rainfall forecast models show a maximum of about 5 to 7 inches across the middle portion of the Red River and southeastern Arkansas and Oklahoma, and 2 to 4 inches across the Ohio Valley.
The models indicate the Mississippi River at Cairo, Illinois, possibly reaching above 50 feet for a second time this year based on a 16-day forecast. That would translate to the Mississippi’s level at Vicksburg reaching the upper 40s if the rainfall gets at or above predictions.
“The official forecast right now is for rainfalls of anywhere across the basin from 3 to 7 inches of rainfall, and most of that is over the Arkansas Basin, which will affect us here quicker,” National Weather Service hydrologist Marty Pope said last week.