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Corps to hold virtual public meeting for pumps project

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District announced it would hold a virtual public meeting for the Yazoo Area Pump Project on Nov. 10 at 6 p.m.

The meeting will be streamed live on the USACE Vicksburg District’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/VicksburgUSACE/. Individuals must log into their Facebook account to comment on the live stream. No Facebook account is required to view the live stream. A recording of the meeting will be available on the USACE Vicksburg District’s Facebook page immediately following the event.

The public, interested parties, and stakeholders are invited to comment on the Draft Supplement No. 2 to the 1982 Yazoo Area Pump Project Final Environmental Impact Statement. The Draft Supplement No. 2 contains a description of the project, an updated recommended plan, and an analysis of potential environmental impacts. All public comments received will be considered as part of USACE’s decision-making process.

The full project report, including the recently released Draft Supplement No. 2, is available online at https://www.mvk.usace.army.mil/missions/programs-and-project-management/project-management/yazoo-backwater-report/.

The USACE Vicksburg District will continue to accept comments about the Draft Supplement No. 2 through Nov. 30 via email at YazooBackwater@usace.army.mil, by voicemail or text message to 601-392-2237, or by mail at the following address:

District Engineer

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Vicksburg District

4155 Clay Street

Vicksburg, MS 39183-3435

For more information about the public meeting, please contact the USACE Vicksburg District’s public affairs office at 601-631-5818 or vicksburgdistrict@usace.army.mil.

The Yazoo Basin, Yazoo Backwater, Mississippi, Project, of which the pump project is a part, was authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1941. The project’s other features, including the Yazoo Backwater Levee, a 15-mile-long connecting channel and the Steele Bayou, Little Sunflower and Muddy Bayou control structures, were completed in the 1960s and 1970s. The pump project is the only feature that remains unconstructed, and the Yazoo Backwater Area is the only major backwater area on the main stem of the Mississippi River and Tributaries Project without a pump.

The Yazoo Backwater Area flooded nine out of the past 10 years. The historic flood of 2019 resulted in two attributed deaths, hundreds of millions of dollars in damage, flooded over 600 homes, and adversely affected the aquatic and terrestrial environment.

Recent research demonstrates that flooding plays a smaller role in wetland hydrodynamics in the Yazoo Backwater Area than previously understood and that precipitation is the dominant driver of wetland hydrology in the area. The proposed plan addressed in this revised document is the remaining flood damage reduction features of the Yazoo Basin, Yazoo Backwater, Mississippi, which includes both structural and non-structural components.

Additionally, part of the mitigation plan includes the installation of low flow groundwater wells that will add pumped water into interior streams in the Upper Mississippi Delta to improve environmental flows to sustain aquatics, fisheries, and mussels during the low flow season in the fall.