Officials keep eyes on Mississippi River as it rises above flood stage

Published 12:11 am Tuesday, May 9, 2017


NATCHEZ — At least one Miss-Lou road is closed and several have water on them as the Mississippi River inched Monday toward the minor flood stage mark.

Concordia Parish Homeland Security Director Payne Scott said even at the projected crest on May 19 of 52.5 feet, the river level would still need to rise more than five feet to reach the Vidalia Riverfront.

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“We are going to keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn’t get out of hand, but at this point in time it does not seem like it is going to be anywhere near the last flood,” Scott said.

The minor flood stage begins at 48 feet. At the crest of 52.5 feet, the river would be approximately a foot into the moderate flood stage. The record crest in 2011 was 61.95 feet, which flooded the Vidalia Riverfront.

In Adams County, Board of Supervisors President Mike Lazarus said Monday afternoon Carthage Point Road has been closed until the river goes down. Lazarus said county officials are keeping an eye on Thornburg Lake Road in the Anna’s Bottom area of the county and when the river crosses the road they will close it.

“The worst thing that happens during floods is kids get down there playing, and you can’t have that,” Lazarus said. “The main thing is you don’t want any kids to get hurt down there sightseeing or playing. Sometimes even grown ups get down there and run off into the water while sightseeing.”

Natchez Public Works Superintendent Justin Dollar said at 50.5 to 51 feet, water gets into one lane of Silver Street at Natchez Under-the-Hill. Dollar said at that point they would keep the road open.

At the crest of 52.5 feet, Dollar said the water would likely cross both lanes of Silver Street. Once water crosses both lanes, Dollar said the city would shut the street and reroute Silver Street coming down from Broadway Street into a two-lane road so Natchez Under-the-Hill businesses could remain open.

“We will keep Silver Street open for as long as possible,” Dollar said. “We are continuing to monitor it daily.”

Scott said going down into some camps, water has crossed Deer Park Road and Fairway Road. Scott asked residents to wait until after the water crests and subsides to attempt to get to the fishing camps.

Scott said by May 21, the river is projected to be back in the minor flood stage.

“(The National Weather Service is) watching the rain up north of us,” Scott said. “The rain should subside over the next few days, which would help us out a great deal.”