Noon update: Crest lowered to 63.5

Published 11:53 am Saturday, May 14, 2011

Chris Todd | Special to the Democrat — View of Vidalia Riverfront on Friday May 13, 2011

The National Weather Service has reduced the predicted crest to 63.5 feet. The predicted crest day remains May 21.

With water level currently at 60.3 feet in Natchez, City Engineer David Gardner said so far everything is holding up well.

“We are keeping our fingers crossed and waiting to see how high the water gets,” Gardner said.

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He said water is inching up Silver Street, but the Hesco baskets are holding.

“The baskets holding great,” Gardner said. “They are doing exactly what we want.”

Gardner said a belt broke at one of the pumps on the lift station at the wastewater treatment plant around 2 a.m.

“We had two pumps, one for backup, and the other pump held up well for us,” Gardner said. “Some men worked on the pump last night and got it up and going around 3 a.m. It was scary when belt broke, and all the parts stores were closed. It seems like those kinds of things always happen at 2 a.m.”

Gardner said another pump will be ordered to be on standby.

Across the river in Vidalia, Carla Jenkins, owner of Vidalia Dock and Storage, is watching water slowly claim her property. But she’s keeping her spirits up.

Jenkins and her team are checking the property by boat.

“We already have water on the back deck,” Jenkins said. “We built a levee on the property next door to get out to the boats, but by tomorrow or Monday, we’ll have to use a skiff to get to it. I am totally underwater.”

Jenkins said line boats coming by Vidalia Dock and Storage, sending waves splashing into building.

For more aerial photos of the flooding, see tomorrow’s edition of The Democrat in print or online.

Until flood worries wane, The Natchez Democrat will post daily river updates at noon and 5 p.m. Breaking news and other alerts will be posted throughout the day, as available. Also, a live feed of the Natchez river level is constantly updated 24-7 on our home page.

Send flood-related questions or submit flood photographs to