Steele Bayou gates closed
Published 4:45 pm Thursday, February 27, 2020
In an update from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District Tuesday, officials reported the gates at Steele Bayou Control Structure were open and were “expected to remain open for the near future.” That “near future” extended as far as Thursday at 11 a.m. when officials again closed the gates.
Warren County Emergency Management Agency Director John Elfer said with the gates closed and the expected rainfall next week, he is hoping the forecasted crest in the backwater remains at 96.
As of Thursday afternoon, the backwater is at 95.8 feet and the Mississippi River in Vicksburg is at 48.1 feet.
“Last year, we saw flooding of Eagle Lake Shore Drive and Sea Island Drive at 96.4 feet,” Elfer said. “So that is a number I really hope we do not get to.”
He said, based on forecasts he has seen, that he expected the Mississippi River to begin to fall next week, giving the Corps a chance to remove a number of feet from the backwater.
“But, it looks like it’s going to all come back in late March and April,” Elfer said.
In announcing the closing of the gates, the Vicksburg District said it was weather forecast over the coming days that led to the gates’ closure.
“The National Weather Service has forecasted heavy rainfall over the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers that may impact river forecasts across the region within the next week,” the District said in its announcement. “Current projections indicate that stages on the main stem of the Mississippi River will remain relatively stable, but these projections will change based on future rainfall.”