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Mudslides along Natchez Trails cause concerns

NATCHEZ — Natchez officials hope last week’s torrential rains have not created future problems for the series of retaining walls along the Natchez bluff.

While not an immediate danger to the bluff, Mayor Darryl Grennell said that engineers have been called to inspect several mudslides that have occurred along the Natchez trails between Learned’s Mill Road and Roth Hill Road.

Grennell said the slides occurred after 8 to 9 inches of rain fell in Natchez Thursday night.

“Anytime you have that volume of water in a short window of time with the type of soil we have in Natchez, we are going to have issues,” Grennell said.

Grennell said his biggest concern is the long-term effect the mudslides on the lower level will have on the upper retaining walls.

“I don’t want anything compromised,” Grennell said.

Grennell said Natchez Public Works Director Justin Dollar has been working with engineers to assess the situation.

Dollar said Tuesday that after consulting with engineer, the initial assessment is that the mudslides are not an immediate threat to the retaining walls along the bluff.

“The mudslides will need to be corrected,” Dollar said.

Dollar said soils engineers from the original bluff stabilization project are scheduled to come inspect the area and offer recommendations for what steps need to be taken.

Since the weekend, a portion of the trails where the mudslides have occurred have been closed. One of the mudslides occurred close to the trail and Dollar said the trail has been closed for people’s safety.

Grennell said people should not cross the lines that have taped across either end of the trail.

“We are not going to take anything lightly,” Grennell said. “People need to stay away until the situation can be assessed by engineers.”

Grennell said public works crews have been busy addressing problems created by the heavy rainfall Thursday night.

“We have had mudslides all over the city,” Grennell said.

Grennell said streets affected include portions of Devereux Street, St. Catherine Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Road.

“We have been so busy. That is why we are behind in taking down Christmas decorations.”

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