Mississippi on the rise again

Published 7:17 pm Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Mississippi River is back on the rise, but predictions indicate it should get no higher than its 43-foot flood stage.

The river is expected to crest below 43 feet April 16; its stage was 42.25 feet Tuesday afternoon. Greg Raimondo, public affairs chief for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District, said the rise will not force the Corps to close the Steele Bayou Control Structure, adding the landside level is higher than the river.

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“It is draining and will continue to drain,” he said.

Advanced rainfall forecasts in late March indicated the river would rise back to 49 feet, about a foot below the 50-foot crest that passed through Vicksburg March 17, but less than expected rainfall in the Upper Mississippi Valley reduced the threat.

“It’s going to get right to it, it’s going to be 42.8, 42.9,” said National Weather Service hydrologist Marty Pope. “Right now, looking at the rainfall across the valley, there’s not a lot up through there.”

However, Pope said, expected local heavy weekend rains starting Friday could put the river at 43 feet. The Weather Service seven-day forecast shows the area getting between 1.75 and 2.5 inches of rain over the weekend.

“We could have the rain we get Friday night, just from the local influences, push it right to flood. That’s the only thing,” Pope said. “There’s not a lot above that that’s going to make it go above (flood stage), but just the rainfall right on the river sometimes could do that.”

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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