River, river go away, don’t come back another day

Published 12:11 am Tuesday, April 22, 2008

After weeks of seeing the Mississippi River gauge rise, the needle finally dropped — just a bit — on Monday morning and perhaps not a moment too soon.

For many locals, watching the river levels inch higher has become a bit of an obsession. Nuances like what areas flood at 56.5 versus 56.8 and the difference between sea level and the gauge level have become commonplace water cooler talk.

Reaching the second-highest recorded level on Monday morning, the river has certainly left a high-water mark in the minds of Miss-Lou residents. In all likelihood, the river will continue to be above flood stage for several weeks, at least.

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And through all of the memories and posterity photographs, we hope this is one event that isn’t repeated again anytime soon.

When the normally peaceful river begins to reach historic levels, bad things happen.

From the stranded cows that temporarily had their 15 minutes of fame and the closure of the city’s only casino to water bubbling from the stormwater drains on the Vidalia Riverfront and the water lapping at the new Vidalia Conference and Convention Center, the high waters have certainly been noticed.

So far, our area has been relatively fortunate. We’ve only seen a few catastrophes associated with the flooding. For the most part, our lives have simply carried on despite the looming water levels.

Hopefully, the flood of 2008 will be in the history books soon as the river water recedes and our community gets back to normal.