Noon update: Predicted crest lowered another 6 inches to 62.5 feet

Published 11:36 am Wednesday, May 18, 2011

NATCHEZ — The National Weather Service has lowered the crest prediction of the Mississippi River in Natchez to 62.5 feet — down six inches from recent forecasts, according to predictions released today.

Vidalia Mayor Hyram Copeland said the Riverfont and levee systems in the parish are all in good condition.

Copeland said over 40 of the 2,500 pound sandbags have been placed at the riverfront to plug the hole at the convention center.

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“We have that problem fixed,” he said.

While there is seepage water getting under the Hesco baskets at all the businesses on the riverfront, Copeland said that is to be expected and crews are working to get the water out as fast as it get in.

“We went ahead and put extra sandbags into the Hesco baskets to give them more strength,” he said. “We have pumps at all the businesses that drain the water out in about 10 minutes once it reaches a certain point.”

Copeland said everything is looking good, and the new crest of 62.5 feet is another good sign for the parish.

Residents or those who work in Adams County who have become unemployed because of flooding may now qualify for disaster unemployment assistance, according to a Tuesday press release from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

This program helps people who don’t qualify for standard unemployment compensation programs, such as the self-employed, farmers and seasonal workers.

Workers whose jobs have been affected by flooding have until June 11, 2011 to apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance.

Workers in Adams, as well as the following counties, have until June 11 to apply: Adams, Bolivar, Claiborne, Coahoma, DeSoto, Jefferson, Humphreys, Issaquena, Sharkey, Tunica, Warren, Washington, Wilkinson and Yazoo.

Applicants can apply by calling 888-844-3577 or 601- 855-3133 to apply for DUA.  Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Applicants can also apply online at the Mississippi Department of Employment Security

Disaster Unemployment Assistance may extend income compensation to self-employed civilians, farm workers, individuals who have worked for only a few weeks, and others who have lost earned income or whose income has been interrupted as a result of a major disaster declared by the President of the United States.

Those who have lost the sole breadwinner in their household may be eligible for unemployment benefits.  The benefits cover those usually not entitled to unemployment insurance.

Individuals applying for DUA need to provide proof of past earnings, such as business records or bank statements and their most recent income tax form, at the time they file their claim.

The Mississippi River stands at 61.78 feet this morning 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