River continues to rise
NATCHEZ — The Mississippi River missed its predicted crest of 49.5 feet on Thursday and is expected to continue to rise through today.
The river is projected to level out at 49.8 feet today with no threat to area residents projected.
The National Weather Service in Jackson had previously predicted the crest for Thursday, but as of Thursday afternoon the water level was at 49.7 feet and still rising.
Though flood stage is 48, high ground in Adams County and a levee in Concordia Parish mean the water doesn’t start causing significant trouble until somewhere just past 50 feet.
NWS Senior Hydrologist Marty Pope said the river has had a little more rise to it than originally projected.
“It has continued moving upward,” he said. “It is very close to cresting and should only rise by about another tenth of an inch.”
Pope said once the river reaches its peak, area residents should not expect a fast decline in the water level.
“Once it crests, it is going to hold pretty flat for several days,” he said. “We are looking at a very broad crest, which means the water is going to sit there for a while.”
Pope said no rainfall is projected until Monday, giving the river some time to decline.
“Hopefully by the time it rains on Monday the river will have retreated some,” he said. “But we are not exactly sure when the water is going to start going down. It could be a while.”
Pope said that while the river has already crested at points in Arkansas, Vicksburg is still in the process of cresting.
“Vicksburg is holding steady,” he said. “It may take a while for it to go down, but when it does you should see the water in Natchez start to decline also.”
Pope said even though the water level should begin to decline next week, another spring rise could occur.