Mississippi River crests raised along state’s shoreline

Published 1:41 pm Thursday, April 3, 2008

JACKSON (AP) — Forecasters have upped crest levels along the Mississippi River from Greenville south to Natchez with rain expected over the central U.S.

“Right now, we are looking at anywhere from three to five inches of rainfall going from west central Arkansas up through the south part of the Ohio River,” Marty Pope, senior service hydrologist for the National Weather Service, said Thursday.

He said much of that water will eventually make its way into the Mississippi River and increase already high water levels.

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The weather service’s projected crest level at Greenville rose a half foot to 54.5 feet by Sunday. The crest at Vicksburg is expected to reach 48 feet by Tuesday, an increase of 1.5 feet. And in Natchez, the crest level is forecast to reach 55 feet by April 10, which is also a 1.5-foot increase.

The Mississippi River typically floods every three to five years, Pope said. The river at Vicksburg rose to 44.4 feet in January 2005 and 45.4 feet in 2002.

“The highest its been before now was in March 1997, when it got up to 49.1 feet,” Pope said. “So this is pretty significant.”