The Mississippi River Commission holds public meetings and several locations twice a year, and today’s meeting is being held in Vicksburg.
Today’s event is especially well attended because of the Great Backwater Flood of 2019. The “Finish the Pumps” group is here including the main group consisting of Victoria Darden, Stormy Deere, Ann Dahl, Jeff Terry and Earl Wallace.
When it came his time to speak, Peter Nimrod of the Mississippi Levee Board laid the two deaths during the flood at the feet of the Environmental Protection Agency, which vetoed completion of the pumps in 2008. In June, Sharkey County residents Latamela Taylor and Darron Wilson drowned in the Yazoo backwater when their car went off the road. Taylor was pregnant at the time of her death.
After the initial greetings and introductions, the floor was opened to public statements. The first speaker was Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann.
Hosemann took a challenging tone with the Commission pointing out the issues with the Bonnet Carré Spillway and the Morganza Spillway. The Secretary noted the historic amount of water that passed down the river this year and stated, “This will happen again.” He tasked the Commission with learning from this event and creating solutions that do not include destroying shrimp, oyster beds and other fishing in the Mississippi Gulf. The beaches and the tourism tourism industry have also been devastated.
Hosemann wrapped up by requesting the Commission operate the Bonnet Carré Spillway in a fashion that does not continue to harm the economy of the Mississippi Gulf.
Check back with the Vicksburg Daily News for more from the meeting as it progresses.