What stands out in 2011 for you?

Published 12:02am Wednesday, December 28, 2011

They say no news is good news, and in 2011 that rung true.

In these parts, the biggest story of the year centered on what — to most of us — was virtually a non-story altogether.

Still, the greatest recorded level on the Mississippi River made news, whether we got wet or not.

Few would argue that the 61.9-foot crest at Natchez, the almost uncontrollable fears of many Concordia Parish residents, the unbelievable efforts of the City of Vidalia to save the riverfront and the miraculous powers of the Hesco Baskets were — easily — the biggest story of 2011.

Yet, nothing much happened.

In Natchez, 90-plus percent of city was never in danger.

In Concordia Parish, fears ran wild where water didn’t.

The sight of the Vidalia Riverfront covered in water was one to behold, yet the four buildings that anchor it saw little to no flood damage.

Governments on both sides of the river spent large sums of money — nearly all reimbursable from the federal government — to ensure that the worst didn’t happen.

But the disaster that many thought would be breaking news at any moment simply never came.

Instead, the great flood of 2011 was a story of fear turned to preparation. The year is one many Vidalia residents who packed up most or all of their belongings and headed for higher ground will not soon forget.

The details are already fading for those of us high on the hill in Natchez.

All and all, the river was news, but it leaned more to neither good nor bad.

Now as we round out the year — with high but still insignificant water levels on the muddy Mississippi yet again — we can look back on the story as history not disaster.

Our newspaper is working this week to compile a list of the top 10 or so Miss-Lou news stories of 2011.

We’ll pull it all together with some analysis from local leaders and share it with you Sunday.

The non-flood will certainly be on the list, as will the announcements made this year by Natchez Inc.

But as we compile our list, we are also interested in hearing yours. What made 2011 special to you? What about it will you never forget? What happened this year that you think will define our community for years to come?

The end of one year and the start of another provides us all with a much-needed time of reflection.

Saying goodbye to the news of 2011 with the proper fanfare may very well better equip us all to make 2012 a successful year.

It’s too soon to know what the spring rise may mean for the Mississippi River. I hope and pray that our area doesn’t face the same fears it did last year.

However, we’ve learned what we can survive — even if only mentally — and are better prepared for what Mother Nature may bring.

Feel free to share your top stories of 2011 by sending me an e-mail or calling.

We’ll share our list and yours this weekend.

In the meantime, enjoy what’s left of 2011, and Happy New Year.


Julie Cooper is the managing editor of The Natchez Democrat. She can be reached at 601-445-3551 or julie.cooper@natchezdemocrat.com.


  • Anonymous

    A “TOP” story for 2011 has to be the out of control crime in the Miss-Lou. This is not a black or white issue…it is a symptom of an even bigger underlying cause…lack of morals, destruction of family structure, no personal responsibility, generations upon generations dependent upon welfare and government handouts, little or no education, heavy influence of drugs, glamorization of thugs and ghetto rap lifestyle…and all of this being supported and sustained by the revolving door of our injustice system. This conglomeration of issues is destroying America…one crime victim at a time. When is enough ENOUGH???

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    Anyone interested in getting together someplace to discusswhat we as citizens can do about the current political climate in Natchez-Adams County???We could network here using this ND as a Forum and then perhaps set up a time and place. It would be good to have a free exchange of ideas and could help start a taxpayer citizen movement to ensure that OUR voice is heard by our elected officials and potential candidates.