GUIZERIX: Bravo to state legislators for meeting on Yazoo Pumps

Published 4:00 am Wednesday, August 24, 2022

As I rise on this rainy Wednesday, I am anxiously awaiting what will, hopefully, be a productive meeting between area residents and our elected officials.

In a move some might call unprecedented — after all, how often does a politician keep his word? — Sen. Roger Wicker and Rep. Bennie Thompson are coming together in a bipartisan effort to bring officials from the White House to see firsthand the impact of continuous flooding in the South Mississippi Delta. It’s something all involved can agree is much needed in order to fully understand the scope of the issue.

The Yazoo Backwater/South Delta area is comprised of homes — the majority of which are minority-owned. It’s comprised of some of the richest farmland in our country, with its nearly black soil full of sediments from the Mississippi River. It’s full of people who are tired of being trodden on by those who are ill-informed about their plight.

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At the meeting in Rolling Fork this evening, it’s safe to say one can anticipate the intersection of different schools of thought when it comes to possible solutions for the people of the Backwater.

Some, like the Finish the Pumps organization, will be in favor of the federal government finishing the job it started more than 80 years ago and completing the final pumping station.

Others will be proponents of alternatives to the pumping station, including but not limited to government buy-outs of land, the elevation of homes and roadways impacted by floods and flood plain easements.

Whichever side one is on, the important thing to remember is the value of the land, the lives that depend upon it and the voice of the people at the local level.

It seems we’re gearing up for civil discourse on a complex topic. Let’s hope attendees from all walks of life — whether they arrive in the area via private jet or a farm truck — remain open-minded and willing to act in the best interest of all parties involved.