Heavy rains forcing serious erosion, road issues in city, county

Published 5:07 pm Thursday, February 13, 2020

A hill softened by three days of rain collapsed Thursday morning, sending the large portion of a vacant lot cascading down on a dead-end section of China Street and covering a car on China with trees.

The slide occurred between the buildings at 1108 and 1114 Farmer St.

Property owner Sylvester Walker said the property was level and then gently sloped toward China Street.

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He said his brother, L.T. Walker, who lives across the street from the site, called about the slide.

“He said he heard a crackling noise and got out of bed to look,” Walker said. He said a car and a trailer on the property had to be removed by a wrecker. The car was on the edge of the slide area, he said, and the trailer was on the bottom of the hill.

The slide was one of many in Vicksburg and Warren County caused by the rains.

According to the National Weather Service Office in Jackson, 6.38 inches of rain fell in the area Monday through Wednesday, causing ground already soaked by earlier rains to give way in several areas.

The largest slide occurred Wednesday about 7:30 p.m. when a landslide at Waterview Casino covered the street and a large part of the casino’s parking lot. Officials with the casino said crews from Miller Construction Co. were on the scene Thursday cleaning the area.

Warren County road manager Larry Flowers said county crews were working landslides on Old Jackson Road and Redwood Road.

“Those are the two (roads) we’ve had the worst mudslides on,” he said.

He said a downed tree blocked a section of Old Highway 27.

Inside the city, officials closed Riverfront Park after a landslide moving toward the Mississippi River was discovered Wednesday.

South Ward Alderman Alex Monsour, who is over recreation, said the slide near the park’s playground area has caused the ground around it to shift on the inside of the perimeter fence between the park and the river.

“It’s unsafe for anyone to be in there, and that’s one of the reasons we closed it,” he said. “You can see the ripple effect on the ground, and we don’t want anybody out there.”

North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield said a section of a hillside in the Hills of the Valley is starting to slough off, and there are several areas north of the Klondyke on North Washington Street that are in danger of sliding.

“We’ve got another slide that’s starting close to the street up North Washington,” he said. “If we get as much rain that we hear we’re going to get next week, we’re going to have two pretty good slides up North Washington sometime the first part of the week.”

Mayfield said another area on Stirgus Street near Confederate Avenue has washed out and exposed a waterline and may threaten the street.

“This one’s going to be nasty,” he said. “If we get more rain, we’re going to have some problems in several areas.”

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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