New casinos: We are prepared for worst-case

Published 12:40 am Tuesday, April 15, 2008

NATCHEZ — While the doors to the Isle of Capri Casino boat have been closed until further notice, both the Grand Soleil and the Roth Hill Road casinos have flood plans for instances like this.

Ted Doody, president of Natchez Enterprises, said the Roth Hill Road casino is building above the 100-year flood plain.

The 100-year flood plain is the calculated level of flood water water expected to be equaled or exceeded at least once in a 100-year period.

Email newsletter signup

“We’re planning to have the first finished floor elevation at about 81 feet, which is three or four feet above the 100-year flood mark,” Doody said.

He said while waters may flood the base of the road, they may only affect a future parking lot.

“There are certain parts of the site where the parking lot could be susceptible to going underwater,” he said.

But that would be the extent of what the flood waters could harm.

“The whole (project) has been designed around kind of a worst case scenario as far as river stage,” he said. “We’ve done a lot of research into river stages and we’ve planned accordingly in the design for our project.”

Baxter Lee, marketing director for Grand Soleil, said their plans are similar.

“We’re built to withstand a river level of 65 feet,” he said.

When planning the project, river levels were given major consideration, he said.

“In the beginning, we made a conscious decision to build the site well above that mark,” he said.

The river level as of Monday afternoon was 55.6, the highest it’s been in 15 years, and Lee said that if the casino were operating now, it wouldn’t be affected.

“Where the river level is, we would have no problem with our site,” Lee said. “If we were open for business, the river level wouldn’t have any impact on us whatsoever.”