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A Closer Look at the Levees: Some Are Spared, Others Not So Lucky

By Daniel Cherry | Published 07 Jun 2011 08:55am | comments
Residents of Lake Chotard are still dealing with several feet of water

The levee system along the Mississippi and Yazoo Rivers saved thousands of acres from going under water. MPB's Daniel Cherry took a tour of the Backwater Levee with the Army Corps of Engineers.

Kavanaugh Breazeale with the Corps is eager to show how the Steele Bayou Control Structure protected the Delta from floodwaters.

"It allows the water to be held coming from the Delta and keeps the water out that's coming from the Yazoo and the Mississippi. So as you can see it's higher on the river side the Delta side."

The levee system saved potentially hundreds of thousands of acres. The water never overtopped the Backwater Levee as predicted, but some places not protected got nearly 20 feet of floodwater. And that's what happened to Jason Bush who happened to be on the wrong side of the levee.

"Me and my father-in-law built that house with our own hands. He passed away. I'm glad he did pass away so he didn't have to see this, but he'd tell me Uh Oh we've got to start over again."

Bush showed me what's left of his home by boat on Lake Chotard. He spent four years working on his house. At the height of the flood he had about 8 feet of water in his new home.

"We never thought we'd get flooded...never thought it. It's our own fault, we never got flood insurance or nothing on ours so I'm starting all the way back from scratch again."

The Backwater Levee held more than 15 feet of water off Eagle Lake. Dale Maxwell runs a convenience store in the community. He says even though they're dry people around there don't have much to say about the situation.

"Nobody is saying nothing because there's nobody here to say nothing right now. Everybody has moved out. A few are moving back in slowly, but a lot of people have had a belly full of this. Some of them aren't coming back."

FEMA is offering some of those in flood zones the option of a buyout to reduce the impact of the next flood.

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Residents of Lake Chotard are still dealing with several feet of water


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