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 MS Flood » Mississippi River flooding crest is yet to come

Mississippi River flooding crest is yet to come

Mississippi River flooding crest is yet to come

Levees secure, but National Guard to be called in just in case

GREENVILLE — Sabrina Trowell lives on Booker Street about two streets back from the levee. She makes a daily trek up the walkway to the top of the hill that provides a view of the bloated river and several submerged casino parking lots.

"God says his mercy and his grace is sufficient so we have to keep faith and trust in God’s word even as the river rises," Trowell said.

Many in Greenville grew up hearing tales of the Great Flood of 1927, adding to the angst as the river rises. The Mississippi River mainline levee broke about 20 miles to the north and the city was submerged.

But 84 years later, officials say the levees are secure and most of the town should stay dry, with the exception of some 100 homes along Lake Ferguson, on the water side of the levee. Almost all of the residents there have been evacuated.

"I think they’ve seen pictures and get worried when the water goes up," said Peter Nimrod, chief engineer of the Mississippi Levee Board.

He’s been having some sleepless nights himself, but was confident Wednesday that, if the river’s crest stays within projected ranges, the levees will hold.

Early this week a structural issue caused by a sand boil, a natural occurrence in high-water events, on the mainline levee near Rosedale was addressed and the Corps of Engineers completed an extensive project reinforcing the Yazoo Backwater Levee on Tuesday.

"Last night, I slept like a baby," Nimrod said.

Trowell, though, can’t help but worry. Her aunt, Carolyn Watson, said for days she has been eyeballing the water’s growth by its reach on a sign on once-dry land. It was gone Wednesday, she said.

The same day, forecasters raised Greenville’s projected Monday crest by six inches, to 65 feet. "We know we have to prepare for the worst," Trowell said.

Greenville doesn’t have it good, by any stretch. Three casinos have been closed, business have reported 800 people are out of work, and all public and private terminals at the Port of Greenville have been shut down to barge traffic, affecting businesses that rely on maritime activity, Greenville officials reported.

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