ICYMI: Positive news from this past week in Vicksburg

Published 2:35 pm Monday, August 19, 2019

Topping the list of positives this week in Vicksburg is the opening of Mississippi 465.

After being closed for five months due to the Yazoo backwater flooding, the Mississippi Department of Transportation opened the road Thursday afternoon allowing Eagle Lake residents and property owners a direct route to their community.

“We made the decision about 3 (p.m.) Thursday afternoon,” said Kevin Magee, MDOT Central District Engineer. The road is open to light vehicle — passenger car and pickup truck — traffic.

With the road open, Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace said he will close the roadblock at the levee and will continue 24-hour patrol of Eagle Lake.

“I also want to remind people that even though the road is open, unless they have business or property in Eagle Lake, they need to stay away from the area. This is not the time for sightseers and tourists,” he said.

MDOT closed Mississippi 465 in February. When the water began receding in early August, there were concerns the prolonged time underwater would cause a major problem on the road.

Magee said that was not the case.

“We came out fairly well, considering,” he said. “We have seen this much damage or more damage from a lesser flood. Our workers did a very good job getting the road cleaned and making repairs so we could open it up.”

In other good news this week, the Southern Cultural Heritage Foundation received an $11,400 grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC).

“This grant means a great deal to us, and we are very appreciative of the MAC, and the National Endowment for the Arts, which is also part of the MAC,” executive director of the SCHF Stacey Mahoney said.

The grant will help with general operations and programming, including the River Kids Art Program.

MAC grants are made possible by continued funding from the Mississippi State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts. Nearly $1.4 million in grants will be awarded in 2019 and 2020.

“The Mississippi Arts Commission is proud to support arts organizations as well as arts activities and festivals around the state through grant-making,” said Malcolm White, executive director of MAC. “These funds help broaden the reach of arts by educating our communities about Mississippi’s enduring creative legacy and offering arts experiences and performances to people in nearly every area of the state.”

More positives this week in Vicksburg:

  • On Thursday, a 53-foot 18-wheeler pulled up to the Gospel Temple MB Church on Lane Street to deliver donations for those affected by the Yazoo Backwater flooding. After being contacted by the church whose motto is “Save to Serve,” Convoy of Hope delivered donations that included water, paper goods, personal hygiene products, cleaning supplies, wheelbarrows, trash bags and protective masks.

Convoy of Hope, located in Springfield Missouri, is an organization that helps in disaster, church member Jackie Libbett said. In addition to Warren County, donations also went to those in Sharkey, Issaquena, Humphreys and Yazoo counties.

  • On Saturday, thanks to local business donations an announcement was made that Floodfest would become a free event. Originally there was to be a $5 admission fee for attendees for the evening activities and musical performances, but following the announcement, all were welcome at no charge.