While there’s no doubt “unprecedented” amounts of water are continuing to come down the Mississippi, the Army Corps of Engineers and other participating agencies are adjusting their forecasts of when the river will crest at different locations almost hourly.
The river unofficially reached its crest at 47.87 feet on the Memphis gauge at 7 a.m. Tuesday. It is still expected to crest at 64.5 feet at Greenville, Miss., May 16, and at 57.5 feet at Vicksburg, Miss., May 19.
The river side of the Steele Bayou area north of Vicksburg and the Yazoo Backwater Levee will experience crest elevations and over-topping during an estimated six- to 10-day period from May 18-25, according to information provided by the Corps and the National Weather Service and Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.
Some South Delta residents have wondered how much flooding would be occurring in their region if they had been able to overcome the objections of environmental groups and construct the long-planned Yazoo Backwater Pumping Station at Steele Bayou.
That question was asked by a member of the news media during a question and answer session with Corps of Engineers officials following the Delta Council annual meeting at Delta State University May 6.
“Instead of the 92-foot elevation today, the Yazoo Backwater area would be 5 feet lower with the pump running at the 87-foot elevation,” a Corps official said. “We also expect that flood stages would be maintained below 91 instead of going to 95 feet.”
For more up-to-date on the flood situation in the Mississippi Delta, go to www.deltacouncil.org.