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Flooding Gives Some Vicksburg Businesses an Unexpected Boost

By Daniel Cherry | Published 11 May 2011 10:32am | comments

The rising water in Vicksburg is affecting about 1,200 residents and businesses. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports from
Vicksburg how some businesses which are safe from the floodwaters have seen a boost.

Hundreds of people are flocking through historic downtown Vicksburg every hour to get a look at the record floodwaters. Rick Daughtry has been working on levees north of town, but he stopped by to get a look at how its affecting the city.

"A lot of tags from out of town like out of state. Oregon, Wisconsin...We've a lot of people coming in here. A lady down on Washington Street said there have been people coming in just wanting to see the flood from all over the country. It's kind of crazy if you ask me."

A big attraction is the manmade levee to protect parts of downtown....it's leaking heavily. But just up the hill at Monsour's restaurant, owner Eddie Monsour says he's enjoying all the extra foot traffic.

"Well we're getting more people stopping in. They sit out here and watch the water then decide to come eat so we're getting a little bit out of it."

While the flood is rewarding some businesses, other much larger operations on the river have had to close their doors. The Port of Vicksburg which employs about 4000 people is closed until the water recedes. River tourism boats have had to tie up, and all but two of Vicksburg's casinos are closed. Paul Winfield, Vicksburg's mayor says the city is taking on huge losses every day the casinos aren't open.

"With just a couple of casinos open right now and floods pending, arguably we're getting a third of the month of May. The month of May has brought in on average $550,000 so we can expect to capture about $150,000 for the month of May."

Winfield says about one fourth of Vicksburg's general fund come from gaming revenue and sales taxes.

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