• 79°

We must meet this need together

There is simply too much damage to calculate right now. In addition to the private homes, piers and other property destroyed, damaged or washed away, the damage to infrastructure will also be significant.

Simply, the toll from the ongoing flood in the Eagle Lake area — and other flooded areas around Vicksburg and Warren County — will not be fully known for months or even years.

Just Friday, forecasters again increased the cresting forecast for the Mississippi River, this time to 51.50 feet. But at this point, the amount is starting matter less than the length of time before it recedes.

For farmers in the areas impacted by the flood — many have more than 10 feet of water covering their land — the impact felt by the damage to their fields and to their business might take years to recover from, regardless of whatever relief they receive from the federal government.

Roads leading to and from the Eagle Lake area, covered by water, will be significantly damaged. When the flood waters decide to recede, they’ll require immediate attention so that residents — and cleanup crews — can return to their homes.

Reports of damage to the water system in Eagle Lake have been reported. That, along with other utilities, must be repaired and replaced to make sure residents will be able to live safely.

In no way does this even account for private property damage, or the loss of irreplaceable valuables.

Flooding along the Mississippi River and the Yazoo Backwater Area has been a slow moving disaster. Regardless of whether it is the fault of Mother Nature or man’s inability to sensibly manage and mitigate potential flooding, the cleanup and restoration will rely solely on our shoulders.

Currently, there are a number of organizations helping those affected. There work is tireless and their supplies limited, while the demand is limitless.

One such group that is working to direct those in need that can be of the most help is the United Way of West Central Mississippi. In coordination with the Warren County Emergency Management Agency, the United Way has been a conduit for information on who, when and where help can be found.

If you would like to contribute — either with your time, talent or treasure — we would encourage one of your first phone calls goes to the United Way or to the Warren County EMA. In the relief effort, these two agencies are the tip of the spear.

The waters along the Mississippi and backwater areas will take a long time to recede, but the need is here and it is not going away any time soon.