Backwater reaches record level; electricity will be interrupted

Published 7:38 pm Monday, March 18, 2019

The Yazoo backwater reached a level of 96.6 feet Sunday, breaking a record set in 1979 and raising concerns about future problems as the water inches up to a projected 97-97.5 feet with water crossing Eagle Lake Shore Road in the Eagle Lake community.

According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers River Gauges website, the landside of Steele Bayou control structure is 96.69, and the water, or riverside, is 99.57 feet.

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The Mississippi River was at 51.02 feet Monday.

“It’s (the water) going under and over (Eagle Lake Shore Road),” Warren County Emergency Management director John Elfer said. “It’s over the road now.”

Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace said Eagle Lake Shore Road has water in two locations.

“It’s completely across in one location and it’s blocking a lane of traffic in another spot,” he said. “The county has put up ‘water over road’ signs; the water that’s over the road right now is very shallow, but it is over two lanes in one location and has a current, and blocking one lane in another.”

He said people should avoid driving through water on roads.

While the water crossing the Eagle Lake Shore Road may be shallow, “It is still never a good idea to drive through water, because you never know what the structural integrity of the road bed is,” Pace said.

“There could be holes or weak spots in the pavement.”

He said the flooded portion of Eagle Lake Shore Road is the only access to some of the homes on the end of the road and the streets off the road.

Pace said deputies have to go to Onward to get to the mainline levee to reach Eagle Lake.

Elfer said Eagle Lake Shore Road has not yet been closed, “But if this water continues to rise, it could have a huge impact on travel. It already has,” Elfer said, adding the rising water could cut off Mississippi 465 and Mississippi 1 to vehicles.

“That’s where we’re at,” he said. “We’re trying to see when and where and just how high this water’s going. I think we all know at this point that this water’s not going anywhere and until Steele Bayou is opened, this potentially is going to get worse.”

In an unrelated item, Elfer said the Eagle Lake area will experience a power outage from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday as Twin County Electric works on its power station at Onward.

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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