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River Crest Brings Some Relief in Vicksburg

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 19 May 2011 03:34pm | comments
A child's swing set pokes above the water in Ralph Boyle's backyard.

Many people along the Mississippi River in Vicksburg are breathing a sigh of relief now that the River has stopped rising. However, as MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports, the crest of the flood does mean the end of the flood.

The river set a new record on the Vicksburg gauge, passing 57-feet, well above the 43-foot flood stage.

Brenda Dawkins says the crest is a big relief because her Warren County home is being protected by personal dam she and her husband built.

"This being a triple wide mobile home, we don't have anywhere to put it and anywhere to go with it. So, he said he wasn't going to lose the house. So when (a nearby company) made the offer for the dirt, he said he is going to save this house one way or the other," Dawkins said.

There is several feet of water behind Dawkins' dam, leaving her home as one of few dry properties on her street. Water is up to the roofs of some of her neighbors, including a nearby brick home where a personal levee failed.

Water is running under the Ralph Boyle's Warren County home and his back porch sticks out into what is now the Mississippi River.

Boyle is happy their wasn't more rain because then the water might have reached his home.

"This one caught us a little off guard. '73 it was out there behind the swimming pool. It was built to withstand a '73 flood and that was the 100 year flood plan. So it must before 100 years now," Boyle said.

The water is not the only threat Boyle is facing....he has shot nearly 15 snakes, including some poisonous snakes, with his shot gun while sitting on his back porch.

The water and the snakes will remain for several weeks. Army Corp of Engineers Colonel Jeff Eckstein says the river won't drop below flood stages until at least the middle of June.

"By my calculations, we are only about 1/3 of the way through this flood. Even with the crest, we have 16 more days before we get down to 55 feet on the Vicksburg gauge again," Eckstein said.

Eckstein says the levee system, that saved the delta from even greater inundation, will hold but will also need some repair once the flood recedes. 

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A child's swing set pokes above the water in Ralph Boyle's backyard.


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