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Tensions rising at Eagle Lake as the water rises

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Sea Island Drive. [all photos by Thomas Parker]

With Vicksburg and Warren County quickly becoming a virtual island due to bodies of water quickly rising on all sides, I took the opportunity Saturday to visit one of the areas hit hard by the Backwater Flood of 2019: Eagle Lake.

As many of you are aware, I was heavily involved in the flood-fighting efforts at Eagle Lake last year.

Scars of 2019 are still evident. Clean-up continues on just about every street and road. Meanwhile, residents have begun to prepare for what this year will bring. On Saturday, a group of residents blocked two culverts to keep backwater from flowing into the lake.

Backwater flowing to the lake inside Tara Wildlife.

An effort is underway to organize a Community Emergency Response Team whose members will receive training from the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency based on a federal curriculum. These volunteers will take steps such as preparing and deploying sandbags to fight a flood. Warren County has made sand and sandbags available to the public at the lake’s public landing.

In previous years, flood-fighting efforts have been done through the Warren County Fire Department, but with almost $40,000 dollars in unpaid bills awaiting reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the department announced last fall that it would not be officially involved in future efforts. The Warren County Sheriff’s Office still awaits reimbursement of more than $200,000 spent on deputy overtime during the 2019 flood.

Bonelli Circle.

While traveling to the north, I could see several driveways underwater as the adjacent areas never completely dried out from last year. Several streets already have several inches of water in low areas, including Bonelli Circle, Sea Island Drive and others. (I did a live report from Roadrunner Road Saturday and showed the impact on a couple of homes.)

Meanwhile, all eyes turn to every weather and flood update from various government agencies. Saturday, the Mississippi River was projected to crest at 46 feet on Feb. 27, the upper limit for “minor” flooding.

Old Eagle Lake Gin.

Due to the unfinished backwater flood control efforts, that level puts an excess of 350,000 acres underwater in the South Delta. If current forecasts hold, flooding could extend to just under 400,000 acres. Eagle Lake reached 80 feet on Friday after being drawn down to 73 feet after last year’s flood. Rainfall is the predominant cause of the rise in the backwater.

I spoke with several flood veterans Saturday. All had different opinions on what lies ahead, but all are greatly concerned that the spring rainy season in Mississippi is still to come.

All are preparing for the worst and hoping for a better outcome in 2020.

Field at Strickland Farm.

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Vicksburg Firefighters quickly extinguish apartment fire

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Firefighters at the Shadow Cliff Apartment fire. (Photo by Tommy Parker)

Vicksburg firefighters quickly extinguished a stove top fire at the Shadow Cliff Apartments on Alcorn Drive Monday Night.

 

At 10:08 p.m. a fire was reported at the apartments that sit between the New Main apartments and Greater Grove Missionary Church. Alcorn Drive was shut down as firefighters worked to supply water to the fire.

The resident, who is visually impaired, smelled smoke and did exactly what firefighters and Chief Danczyk recommend – if you smell smoke call 911.

The resident had left something on the stove and it burned, creating the smoke.

“I always take fire calls seriously. Several years ago I answered a call where there were children still in a house. I had to put them out of a window then follow them out. This one turned out well in that no one was injured. Don’t hesitate if you think you have a fire. Dial 911 and get out!” explained a passionate Eric Paymon, Adam 3 with the Vicksburg Police Department.

Battalion 1, Platform 1, Ladder 3, Rescue, Fire Medics and numerous Vicksburg police officers including Adam 3, responded to the fire.

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China Grove temporarily closed due to an accident

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The Kia Forte and utility pole. (photo by Tommy Parker)

At 9:06 p.m. Monday night, a call came into the 911 call center of a single vehicle accident at 2060 China Grove Road. The impact took out power to the area and created a hazardous situation with power lines on the ground.

 

The area between Gibson Road and Nine Mile Cutoff will be closed while the wreck is cleaned up.

A utility pole was knocked down by the impact of the vehicle that ended up on its roof. Power to the immediate area is out and there are power lines on the ground. About 10 homes are without power according to Entergy.

The Kia Forte with full air bag deployment with electric wires on it. (Photo by Tommy Parker)

The driver of the grey Kia Forte suffered only minor injuries. He was checked out by first responders and released at the scene.

Daniel Thomas is working the accident for the Warren County Sheriff’s Office being assisted by Deputies Cordell Watkins and Thomas McBride . Responding to the accident were Fire Boss Jerry Briggs, Fisher Ferry Chief Mitch Lange along with Tim Wood and Robin Knighton of the Fisher Ferry fire department who worked the accident scene from Engine 303.

First responders and Warren County Fire Boss Jerry Briggs are requesting you avoid the area until the accident scene is deemed safe.

 

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City says gas smell poses no danger

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(Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay)

Numerous Vicksburg residents have reported a strong odor similar to natural gas in the city.

City officials say the smell is apparently due to a release on the harbor, and that it poses no danger.

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Vicksburg
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