Mississippi River touches Silver Street

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 5, 2008

VIDALIA — Experts are predicting the Mississippi River will rise to within a foot of its height during the great flood of 1927 and even closer to the more recent high water of 1997.

In a river stage forecast released by the National Weather Service Friday, the Mississippi River is expected to crest at 56 feet during the morning of April 15.

The river reached 56.6 feet during the 1927 flood, when levees north of the area broke.

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has since taken over the maintenance of the levee system.

In 1997, the river reached 56.3 feet.

The rising water will likely lead to the closing of the end of Silver Street at Natchez Under-the-Hill, which thus far has been protected by sandbags, Natchez City Engineer David Gardner said.

While most people will be still be able to access the businesses Under-the-Hill, double-axle vehicles and vehicles with trailers will not be allowed down Silver Street because it will be converted to two-way traffic and anything that is hard to maneuver would be prohibitive to that, Gardner said.

“Deliveries will have to be made in smaller vehicles,” Gardner said.

The Isle of Capri Casino, located at the base of Silver Street, was forced to move approximately a dozen yards downstream mid-day Friday because of the rising water, Gardner said.

Though access to the casino will be closed from Silver Street, access will still be available from D.A. Biglane Street.

The city will likely begin to sandbag around where the boat’s ramp has been relocated when the water rises higher, Gardner said.

The river is expected to stand at 52.6 feet at 7 a.m. this morning.