Backwater level goes above 97 feet; expected to rise more

Published 7:46 pm Tuesday, March 26, 2019

It’s now taking longer for Eagle Lake residents to get home.

Backwater flooding has put the intersection of Mississippi 465 and Mississippi 1 underwater, forcing residents into Issaquena County to take Derr Plantation Road, a county gravel road to get to the levee system and home.

Presently, the backwater level is at 97.08 feet and rising.

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“Hopefully, it’s going to be a little bit less,” said Peter Nimrod, chief engineer for the Mississippi Levee Board, “But to be on the safe side, we’re saying 97.5.”

Nimrod said Eagle Lake residents have been sandbagging Eagle Lakeshore Road and have stopped a lot of flow into Eagle Lake. Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace said that effort has been aided by state inmates being held at the Issaquena County Corrections Facility who filled bags to help with the flood fight.

Nimrod said, however, that more water could get into the lake as the level increases.

“Every tenth that keeps going up, the more (water) gets around sand bags and the more bagging they’re going to have to do. So they just have to keep the fight up if they’re going to keep it out of the lake.

“They did a great job of closing that water off,” he said. “That’s going to keep water out of the lake, that’s going to keep the erosion off the banks of the lake and help keep some of the homes dry. If it keeps going up, up, they’re going to have a tough fight, but I think they’re going to make it.”

He said the Mississippi River is dropping, adding, “We’re about to get this thing over with. It looks like possibly Monday the gates at the Steele Bayou Structure can be opened up and that can provide some immediate relief for that area and everyone else.

“Hopefully you’ll be getting rid of lot of that water that’s been some issues, and cutting off roads. It (the river) has been hanging up there for the last couple of weeks, but eventually in the next couple of days it’s going to finally start getting some real drops to it, and that’s going to be the difference.”

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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