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More Casino Closures Likely on the Way as Water Rises

By Daniel Cherry | Published 03 May 2011 03:50pm | comments

Areas all along the Mississippi River are preparing for flooding as the water continues to rise. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports what effect the flooding is already having on residents and businesses.

The river is already over flood stage at Greenville. The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency says the river isn't going to crest for about two weeks. Larry Miller, Deputy Director of the Washington County EMA says most people there aren't waiting around.

"We are having our residents of Lake Ferguson that are on the inside of the levee, they are voluntarily evacuating. They have been through this before. They know what to do. We don't have to worry about them not getting out. "

As the water rises other residents and businesses will be affected. Larry Gregory, the Executive Director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission says the casinos in Tunica are closed and now officials are looking at casinos downstream.

"It is clear indication that all three casinos in the Greenville area will be closed. We're looking at the end of the week. There's two located on Lake Ferguson and the other casino is by the new Mississippi Bridge."

Paul Watson is with the Washington County Board of Supervisors. He says he hopes the gaming commission doesn't shut their casinos down.

"It's just as safe as it was when it was 20 feet less because we're not on the river, we're on the lake, there's no current out there. We don't look for the water to go up on top of the levee. This is actually what we'd call the outside of the levee. I don't look for us to have a problem."

As casinos close down the Mississippi River about 12 thousand people could be out of work for more than a month. Daniel Cherry...MPB News.

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