5 p.m. update: Cresting process lingers as Jones fights

Published 5:00 pm Friday, May 20, 2011

NATCHEZ — The Mississippi River at Natchez may be considered “cresting” for days, but the National Weather Service doesn’t anticipate a second rise.

The NWS has continually changed the predicted Natchez crest this week, including news today that the river actually reached its highest point — 61.9 feet — yesterday and dropped a small amount today.

The reasons for the change, NWS Service Coordination Hydrologist Jeff Graschel said, is work being done at the Old River Control station south of Monterey. Water levels in the Red and Ouachita rivers were low enough to allow the transfer of Mississippi River water to those rivers, which lowered the Natchez crest, he said.

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The numbers didn’t mean much to employees of J.M. Jones Friday afternoon as the new levee around the 100-year-old business began to show more signs of weakness. The levee is currently holding, but crews are working to sandbag in an area of dirt that settled this afternoon, lowering the overall height of that section.

City of Natchez crews encountered no new problems Under-the-Hill Friday, City Engineer David Gardner said, and Magnolia Grill reopened with portable toilets and disposable dishes.