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Corps of Engineers sued over flood management

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The Bonnet Carre Spillway diverts excess Mississippi River water. (2011 photo courtesy U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

Fallout from the Mississippi River flood of 2019 continues with a lawsuit over how the flood waters were managed.

Several cities, counties and groups are accusing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Mississippi River Commission of opening the Bonnet Carré Spillway for prolonged periods without regard to the consequences, the Clarion Ledger reports.

The spillway operates as a fail safe for New Orleans when the Mississippi River is above flood stage, diverting water away from the city and into Lake Pontchartrain and then out into the Gulf of Mexico. Since it was completed in the 1930s, the gates of the spillway have only been opened 14 times, an average of about once every six years. It was opened in both 2018 and 2019, however, and in 2019, it was opened twice for a total of 123 days.

The huge influx of fresh water into the Gulf caused its salinity to decrease, and the results were catastrophic. A toxic algae bloom closed beaches to swimmers and waders in Mississippi at the height of beach season. Coastal marine life died in numbers not seen since the 2010 BP oil spill. Oyster beds died, and commercial fishing was devastated to the tune of more than $160 million in losses.

In September, the U.S. Department of Commerce declared a federal fisheries disaster for Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana.

The lawsuit is seeking to force the Corps to consult with local governments before opening the spillway and to study the effects of spillway openings with an eye toward mitigating future damage, including pollution.

Crime

Governor’s sign-language interpreter arrested

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(Photo source: WAPT)

Gregory Goldman, 52, was arrested Sunday in Madison County for aggravated domestic violence, WAPT reports.

Goldman, who frequently provides sign language interpretation for Gov. Tate Reeves during his news conferences, has also signed for Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. during major press events.

Goldman is employed by the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services.

There are few details available about the allegations that led to his arrest. Goldman was released on $1,000 bond Monday.

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Huge pothole closes down I-20 on-ramp

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(photo by Sean Wright)

Numerous vehicles were damaged Friday night after hitting a pothole on the Interstate 20 eastbound ramp from Indiana Avenue.

Apparently, the pothole expanded Friday due to the rain. One victim of the pothole estimated at least 10 vehicles were damaged in a short time.

Vicksburg police have closed the ramp to allow crews to fill in the pothole.

The repairs may take several hours. Please take an alternate route.

 

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At least four accidents reported on Vicksburg’s rain-slick roads in an hour

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Rollover accident at Gibson and China Grove roads Friday night (photo by David Day)

With Friday’s rainy weather making roads slick, Vicksburg has seen a rash of accidents since around 5 p.m.

A wreck on Porter’s Chapel Road near the intersection of Halls Ferry Road is at least the third accident reported.

Result of a wreck on Porter’s Chapel Road Friday. (photo by David Day)

There are reportedly some very minor injuries to the occupants of the vehicle involved.

Other accidents have been reported on Fisher Ferry Road, and near the intersection of U.S. Highway 80 and U.S Highway 61 North. The Highway 80 accident also had minor injuries.

A fourth accident on Gibson and China Grove roads involved a rollover, but no injuries have been reported.

Slow down, folks. The life you save could be your own.

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