Corps expected to reopen Steele Bayou this weekend

Published 10:42 am Tuesday, April 14, 2020

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District is expected to reopen the Steele Bayou Control Structure gates this weekend, according to information from the District.

The District closed the gates March 30 because the Mississippi River was expected to rise to a level of 50 feet. The river crested Monday at 50.5 feet and was at 50.4 feet Tuesday and expected to begin falling. The Yazoo Backwater Area is expected to crest at 96.5-97 feet this weekend, according to the District.

“We can expect to see a sharp fall in the Mississippi in the next seven days,” said National Weather Service Hydrologist Marty Pope. “It’s expected to be at 46 feet by the 21st.”

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The river, he said, has crested and begun to fall at Greenville and Lake Providence, La., “So we should begin to see a fall in Vicksburg shortly.”

Based on current precipitation forecasts, he said, the Mississippi could be to 43 feet by May 5. He said, however, that prediction could change if any storm systems containing heavy rainfall crosses the upper Mississippi valley before then.

He added the storms that passed through the country during the weekend, caused a slight rise in the river level at Cairo, Ill., and locally affected gauges on the river.

The Steele Bayou Control Structure, which was built in 1969 and combines with the Mississippi River and Yazoo Backwater levees to prevent the Yazoo and Mississippi rivers from backing up and further flooding the Delta.

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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