City may alter high water plan

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 14, 2001

Isle of Capri Casino could soon have an option to stay open come hell or high water – literally.

Natchez city attorney Walter Brown is working on changes to the city’s high water plan, which would provide an alternate route at Natchez Under-the-Hill when the river reaches 52 feet.

&uot;(Currently), once the river reaches 52 feet, we shut down Silver Street as a through street,&uot; Brown said.

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The new plan would provide for an alternate route through the Magnolia Grill parking lot, behind the buildings on the city-owned Little Street (which is normally closed) and into the Biglane traffic circle.

The plan would go into effect when the river reaches 52 feet. If the river reaches 54 feet, Silver Street would be shut down.

Brown said the plan must still be reviewed and approved by the landowners, the Biglane family. But he said the new plan would benefit the casino, which does not want to have to shut down in the event of high water.

In March 1997, the casino was forced to close for about a week because of high water.

&uot;This has been discussed for several years,&uot; Brown said. &uot;The city has been sensitive to the safety issue. The casino would like to have temporary access between 52 and 54 feet.&uot;

Brown said the access plan would only be in effect during high water situations, and it would be optional for the casino.