Corps opens Steele Bayou structure

Published 9:31 pm Monday, April 1, 2019

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District has opened the Steele Bayou Control Structure.

The structure, which was built in 1969 and combined with the Mississippi River and Yazoo Backwater levees, prevents the Yazoo and Mississippi rivers from backing up and further flooding the Delta.

The Corps announced it had opened the structure about 7:45 p.m. Monday. The control structure, which has been closed since Feb. 15, is located approximately 10 miles north of Vicksburg. At 8 p.m.Monday, the backwater level on the landside of the control structure was 97.1 feet. The riverside level was 97.11 feet.

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The Mississippi was at 48.8 feet and is projected to reach 43 feet by mid-April.

“We have experienced below average rainfall during these last few weeks in March and are relieved that stages on the Mississippi River are gradually falling.” said Vicksburg District Commander Col. Michael Derosier. “We remain vigilant as we enter the spring rainy season with an already high Mississippi River and interior Yazoo backwater area.”

The 97-foot level in the backwater area was the highest since 1973, as the water in the area pooled because there was no way for it to drain from the area.

The increasing high level in the backwater area forced the Warren County Board of Supervisors to declare a mandatory investigation for Eagle Lake residents, and the rising water crossed Eagle Lakeshore Road into Eagle Lake.

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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