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Vicksburg Businesses Prepare for the Flood

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 05 May 2011 04:21pm | comments
Golding Barge Company Sits Right on the River.

Flooding in Vicksburg could be the worst on record and businesses that rely on the Mississippi River are expected to be deeply affected. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports on how businesses near the Mississippi River are getting ready for the flood.

If the flood reaches its expected level, it could be some of the worst flooding on record....but before it even reaches that point, it is a big problem for Jonathan Brock at Golding Barge Company.

Brock's trailer office sits on the banks of the Mississippi, with the water lapping at It's back porch.

"We are moving all of this, you know, everything to another property due to the water rising. Our offices, everything. We are having to move. In a few days, nothing will be here," Brock said.

Brock says they plan to stay in operation even while they move their building and equipment up hill.

About a mile upstream, Ricky Lowry runs a machine shop fabricating parts for factories.

Lowry's business is less than 100 yards off the river, but sits behind the squat gray seawall which intended to hold back the river.

He is worried about water topping the wall, and jeopardizing hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment in his shop.

"A lot of our stuff is computerized stuff so we can't afford for it to go underwater. We got one machine that cost to 250-thousand dollars. If it looks like it is going to get dangerous, we are going to start moving out," Lowry said.

The Annabelle Bed and Breakfast has stood on the Vicksburg's bluffs for more than 140 years.

The current owner Carolyn Stevenson is confident that the house will survive this flood but is worried about the perception that the whole city is under water.

Stevenson says she was reservations until mid-may when the river is expected to crest, but nothing after.

"People automatically assume it is going to affected us here, when it doesn't. We had that problem with Katrina. People thought the entire state of Mississippi was devastated because of the new reports. When indeed it wasn't, we were quite safe," Stevenson said.

Officials from the Port of Vicksburg expect water to inundate the port and put roughly 4-thousand people who work for the port, and the related businesses, out of work for a month or more.

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Golding Barge Company Sits Right on the River.


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