5 p.m. update: Under-the-Hill sewage lift station shut down

Published 5:04 pm Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Natchez City Engineer David Gardner said the sewer lift Under-the-Hill was shut off today, disabling the use of bathrooms and drainage at the Under-the-Hill Saloon and Magnolia Grill.

River water apparently entered the sewage lift area from the top hatch, forcing water pumps to be over worked. Gardner said one of the pumps broke today, resulting in the decision to shut off the sewer.

Magnolia Grill owner John Parks said the restaurant is currently closed and will remain closed until at least Thursday evening. The Saloon remains open.

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Construction workers are planning to remove the top tier of Hesco containers lining Silver Street this evening,  Gardner said.

Gardner said the purpose of removing the third level near the Isle of Capri office and Magnolia Grill is to reduce the weight on the ground near areas already experimenting some erosion.

Since the crest prediction was lowered to 62.5, Gardner said the height offered by a third layer of Hesco baskets was not needed.

Vidalia Mayor Hyram Copeland said the main line levees and the Hesco baskets at the riverfront are all performing above their expectations.

The hole that was allowing water to seep through the Hesco baskets toward the Vidalia Conference and Convention Center has been plugged and the water that currently is inside the barrier is still not in the building.

“Once the river starts to drop and it gets below the river walk, we are going to pump the water out,” he said.

Copeland said if water does begin to seep in more, the city has five more pumps available to get the water out.

Copeland said the riverfront’s three other businesses are holding up well.

“The pumps are on and performing,” he said.

The Mississippi River stands at 61.83 feet this afternoon and rising. The river is predicted to crest at 62.5 feet on Saturday.

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 newsroom@natchezdemocrat.com.