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Vicksburg Braces for Record Flooding

By Daniel Cherry | Published 14 May 2011 04:25pm | comments
Workers build barriers to protect a major roadway

The Mississippi River in Vicksburg is expected to crest late this week. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports how the city has all hands on deck.

Gary Vines is working with a road crew building barriers to keep a major highway in north Vicksburg from going under water.

"All we're doing is we've filling them up with sand, packing it down, overlapping it with visqueen (plastic), sandbagging it down. It won't hold it completely, but it's enough that we can pump it out and we can keep traffic going. This is Highway 61 Business going into the harbor. If this shuts down it shuts down the harbor."

Many all along the river are doing what they can to lessen the effects of the record floodwaters.

"It's like 20 Niagra Falls coming down at the same time"

On a barge in the Mississippi River Army Corps of Engineers Major General Michael Walsh addresses concerns. He says the corps is in uncharted territory, but they're doing all they can to hold the water back.

"We've got our engineers walking the levees looking for sand boils or any other type of weakness in the system and we're working those directly as the crest moves down past here and into the Gulf of Mexico."

The corps is confident their levees will hold, but not all areas are protected. Robert Shiers home north of Vicksburg at Chickasaw Landing is completely flooded. Now he and others are going in boats to relieve the stress on their houses.

"A lot of these people, including myself, hope there's something we can salvage because I've been back in there after 10 major floods and went back home. What we're hoping is we can keep the logs and trash and limbs away from the place and keep on pushing them over, and down the river they go. So hopefully we have a structure to go back to."

Shiers says the debris creates drag in the water and if it builds up it can knock a house over. Emergency management officials are urging anyone who might be affected by the flood to secure their property and evacuate.

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Workers build barriers to protect a major roadway


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