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Flood 2011

Notes from the South Ward Flood Preparedness Meeting

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Mayor Paul Winfield:

  • Crest is predicted to reach 57.5 feet at the Vicksburg gage
  • Water is currently rising at 24 – 30 inches per day
  • Water is expected to remain extremely high for 10 – 14 days before it begins to recede significantly
  • Expect high water in the area for 45 – 60 days
  • There have been no mandatory evacuations ordered for the city at this time
  • Wants to avoid mistakes in thinking about immediate problems and look to long term solutions.
  • Conducting “Awareness Campaign” with the help of Vicksburg Police Department, Warren County Sheriff’s Department and volunteers from AmeriCorps
  • Wants to inform the citizens with as much information as possible to give them the chance to make educated decisions
  • Has two main concerns…
    • Safety of the residents.
    • Providing Assistance for those who need it, especially the elderly, disabled and those with special needs.
  • Wants people to communicate the information that they receive to their neighbors
  • Urges parents to ensure that their children are sent to school, no matter what district they may have to evacuate to.
  • Stresses importance of the MCT test which will be given next week.
  • Entergy will be disconnecting power to areas that are affected by flood.
  • Other utilities may be disconnected also
Chief Walter Armstrong
  • VPD will be patrolling areas of town that are accessible to vehicle traffic.
  • Vicksburg does not have boats to patrol flooded areas, but will be partnering with the WCSO to ensure proper patrols in those areas
  • Urges citizens to remain out of flooded areas for their own safety
  • Traffic stops will increase, especially near flooded areas, to ensure that people are not looting.
  • Encourages people to remove their belongings from flood prone areas and insists that VPD will not be ticketing for improper tags or equipment for those people working to secure their property
  • Urges property owners to inform VPD about evacuation so that they may patrol more in the area
  • Roadblocks will be occurring near affected areas
  • Highway 61 South near the Big Black will likely be closed and the VPD will be monitoring traffic flow on alternate routes.
  • Inmates being housed in Issaquena facility have been transferred to Madison County jail and any new arrests will be transferred there as well.
  • DO NOT DRIVE THROUGH FLOODED AREAS – “TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN!”
Representative Alex Monsour
  • People should look to City or County representatives for answers to their questions first
  • The State of Mississippi’s role at this point in time is to facilitate the flow of information
  • Will be attending a press conference at Delta State University tomorrow with Governor Barbour
  • Had meeting with Barbour on Monday… also attending were Sen. Briggs Hopson and Rep. George Flaggs, MEMA and FEMA officials
  • Announced that Obama administration had signed off on Gov. Barbour’s request to declare Warren, Issaquena and several other river counties as disaster areas
United Way’s Barbara Tolliver
  • Many agencies are working to provide assistance
  • United Way has new program to assist people with move-in expenses if they rent a new place to live.
    • People MUST find their own housing before making application for assistance
  • Local church made $1,000 donation today to help United Way in their mission
  • River City Rescue Mission has trucks and manpower available to assist people in moving their items. Service is free to flood victims.
  • School lunches will be free for displaced children.  Applications available at United Way office.
  • Storage space is available in United Way basement for displaced families… space is available on a “first come, first served” basis.
American Red Cross’ Vicksburg Director, Beverly Connelly
  • There is a shelter open at Hawkins United Methodist Church on Halls Ferry Road
  • Shelter will remain open and staffed 24 hours a day until it is no longer needed.
  • Staff of the shelter includes officials from Department of Human Services, nurses and security personnel
  • There is an information table at the shelter where people can receive information about flooding and find paperwork to apply for assistance
  • Urges anyone who needs assistance or has questions to call local office at 601-636-9182
Supervisor Bill Lauderdale
  • An emergency meeting of the WC Board of Supervisors resulted in an evacuation order for residents in the area of Eagle Lake effective on Monday, May 9, 2011
  • WCBOS has been busy collecting info on roadway elevations and evaluating the predicted rise in water level
  • Acknowledges the US Highway 61 south of Dogwood Road will likely be under water for a period of time.
  • Areas of Glass Road will have water over the road and some residents in the area who’s property will be unaffected by flood waters will not be able to get to/from their home.
  • Areas near creeks and streams will likely flood, such as Marion Park and Longview Street
  • Green Meadows subdivision will take in water
  • There will be people that will have to find alternate routes to their work/home and the WCBOS is working to keep routes open
A question and answer session was opened where concerns about the Green Meadows subdivision dominated the conversation.  Residents of the area asked why the culverts could not be closed and sandbags brought in to heighten the levee around the subdivision to prevent it from flooding.  The mayor and Anna Booth (City of Vicksburg Emergency Management Director) fielded the questions and held a private meeting with residents after the meeting adjourned to address their concerns and find out what could be done to accommodate their request. OF SPECIAL NOTE: Trent Johnson of Mississippi River Gas, LLC said that his company will be disconnecting service, removing equipment and capping gas lines in areas that will be flooded.  This interruption in service is for the public’s protection and some customers who are not affected by the flood may not have gas service to their homes.]]]]> ]]>

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