It’s time to take the fight to our flood-fighting efforts downtown

Published 10:29 am Friday, January 24, 2020

Compliments and accolades given to Downtown Vicksburg have been worth it and well-deserved.

Visitors who visit and residents who have lived in Vicksburg long enough to see the dramatic development and improvements downtown laud over what has become a centerpiece to life in Warren County.

While there is plenty to be proud of and plenty to celebrate, there are a few things that still need to be checked off the list and a few things that need some attention.

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We have long called on the city to clean, renovate and overall improve the state of parking, specifically the parking garages located downtown. We have pressed for the continued development of the city’s riverfront to be more welcoming to visitors and more user-friendly to residents.

The creation of the Washington Street Park as a gathering place in downtown has been a huge step forward, but what about the hill between Washington Street and Levee Street that is now best used for children sliding on cardboard. The creation of the amphitheater could put that good space to good use.

We have also been critical of Levee Street’s condition from Clay Street traveling north to where it connects with Washington Street. Even though it is used as a truck route, attention must be paid to this stretch of road, not just for those who travel it for business, but for those shopping at Levee Street Marketplace and visiting the Lower Mississippi River Museum.

While those needs mentioned above are important, today we call on the city, officials with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and others who need to be part of the discussion, to review the current flood-fighting efforts implemented downtown and how to bring them into the 21st Century.

The war waged by city crews currently involves what appears to be an interlocking system of railroad ties and tar at key points near the riverfront. The practice has been often criticized by Mayor George Flaggs Jr. and we agree.

Is there not a better, more efficient and modern way? Has not technology advanced by leaps and bounds since the development of this particular flood-fighting effort?

While the city and business owners have made significant investments into the growth and development of our downtown, we would hope a similar investment — both in time and energy — could be spent on how to best protect it.