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Elfer: Flood could last until end of April for backwater area

Warren County Emergency Management Director John Elfer says there are nearly three-dozen roads and streets flooded and/or closed due to the unprecedented flood that has inundated the area.

Elfer gave the Warren County Board of Supervisors an update on the flood during their work session Monday morning.

He told the board mostly private citizens sandbagged portions of Eagle Lake Shore Road over the weekend in what has become a record flood for the backwater area. The area is expected to see the backwater reach around 97.5 feet. Elfer said he did a quick assessment and found there are approximately 30-40 homes in Eagle Lake with an elevation below 98 feet.

“I don’t think it’s going to go that high; close on a few folks and there’s nothing we can do about it,” Elfer said. “That lake is either going to fill up naturally, or the Corps is going to fill it up. The Corps has exercised a lot of restraint not going a head and filling it up because they don’t want to flood anyone.”

He also explained that the Steele Bayou floodgates will be opened when the Mississippi River drops to 48.5 feet, which is expected to happen around April 2.

“But it will take days for relief on the backwater,” Elfer said. “We’re going to be dealing with this probably until the end of April, depending on what the river does.”

He said Floweree Road is among the 34 roads and streets currently being impacted by the flood and recommended signs be posted closing that road.

Elfer said Friday’s meeting with residents at the Army Corps of Engineers district office went well, and that approximately 60-70 people have registered for temporary housing assistance with the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, which has set up an office at the Vicksburg Mall.