Highway 465 to close at sundown Saturday

Published 12:17 pm Saturday, February 23, 2019

Highway 465 is expected to be closed Saturday at sundown, according to the Mississippi Department of Transportation, which expects the main road into the Eagle Lake community to be underwater Saturday night due to the rising Mississippi River.

According to Peter Nimrod, the chief engineer of the Mississippi Levee Board, beginning Saturday night Eagle Lake residents in light passenger vehicles will be allowed to use the Yazoo Backwater Levee from U.S. 61 to Highway 465. Heavy trucks and equipment will have to drive to Highway 1 near Onward to get back to Highway 465 and access Eagle Lake from the north along the Mainline Mississippi River Levee.

Sheriff Martin Pace held a meeting Saturday with Eagle Lake residents at the Eagle Lake Fire Station.

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“MDOT has advised us they will be closing 465 around 5 p.m.,” Pace said. “Sheriff’s deputies will be here at Eagle Lake around the clock.”

Pace strongly encourages people who do not need to be in the area to refrain from being sightseers.

“Traffic management will be the biggest problem and we don’t need extra traffic to block the only accesses we have to this community,” Pace said.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has activated the Vicksburg District’s Emergency Operations Center in wake of the current high water conditions on the Mississippi River and its tributaries.

According to Public Affairs Chief Reagan Lauritzen, the EOC is standing by to provide support in the form of technical assistance and equipment to local, state and federal partners as they respond to the rising river.

“USACE personnel and their local partners are continuing to monitor the conditions of all federal flood control works, including levees, flood walls and pumping stations,” Lauritzen said in a press release Friday evening. “Based on the current forecast, the Vicksburg District anticipates the need to initiate daily patrols at flood control works, such as levees, floodwalls and relief wells, early next week. As of today, the district has observed no significant sand boils or seepage at flood control sites.”

The National Weather Service is forecasting the Mississippi River to crest at Vicksburg at 51.5 feet by March 14.