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Floodwaters Almost Gone: Recovery Efforts Go into Full Swing

By Daniel Cherry | Published 16 Jun 2011 05:14pm | comments

The Mississippi River at Vicksburg is expected to drop below flood stage today for the first time in more than two months. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports on recovery efforts as the river returns to normal levels.

The Army Corps of Engineers says the cost of the flood is topping six hundred thirty million dollars. The Corps surveyed the effects of the flood in Vicksburg by barge yesterday.

Colonel Thatch Shepard says the levee system took a beating. And budget cuts by the federal government could make repairing the levees more difficult.

"This is stuff that wasn't anticipated so would we like to see a supplemental (income) absolutely. That would help immensly in protecting (the levees). Is there a way that we can work within the restraints of the current budget? We'll have to find a way."

Up the river on Eagle Lake residents are still dealing with high water. William Banks is with the Warren County Board of Supervisors. He says debris is piling up because cleanup efforts have begun in the area, but the county can't get trucks in to haul out the trash.

"We're seeing sheetrock, wood, doors, and everything they have torn out in order to gut that property and start back. And we're going to try to have everything lined up so when they do get in there with FEMA and everything then we will be able to have the cleanup and a place for them to put the debris."

Throughout the flood law enforcement patrolled neighborhoods by car and boat. Walter Armstrong, the Vicksburg Police Chief says they have seen no looting during the flood, and police aren't letting up until everyone is able to go home.

"We do have areas that people are out of their homes and we have a police presence. We have utilized a large amount of overtime, but we're not concerned about that right now. Our main concern is the safety of the citizens of this city."

Now the damage left in the wake of this historic flood is becoming more clear, officials in Vicksburg say cleanup efforts could take several years.






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