The flooding issues continue for the Mississippi Delta. The rain fall stopped, but the standing flood waters and elevated river and lake levels remain. Today, mayors from all over the state gathered here on the Gulf Coast.
“We’re like a bathtub and we are filled.” Mayor Phyllis Adams of Cary is talking about the backwater flooding issues facing many cities and communities in the Mississippi Delta. “We have been dealing with the flood since the middle of January. People were being displaced at the end of January and it’s only gotten worse. More rain comes, more rain came, more rain comes, and there was no way to stop the flooding.”
After the Great Flood in 1927, levees were installed in the Delta. The installation of pumps also were promised, but never delivered. If you travel north about an hour, Greenville Mayor Errick D. Simmons says things aren’t much better. “Particularly Greenville has had about a million dollars in public assessment damage. We’ve had 15 sewer pump failures; we’ve had 30 street failures all because of the saturation of the water. On the dry side, we see the Mississippi River, the levee is doing its job. It’s doing its job but sad to say, we’ve had the longest period of record flooding that’s toppling the 1927 flood. Now what that does for the regular elderly person, for your regular person, business in my city, in my town, economically wise and physically wise it’s a strain in our community.”
In total, an estimated 544,000 acres are still submerged, 515 homes are damaged, and hundreds of businesses affected. The damage could be in the tens of millions of dollars. Indianola Mayor Steve Rosenthal says though his area has cleared out a little bit, the writing could be on the wall for the farmers.
“There are a lot of farmers who will not plant this year, who have missed that opportunity and if you’re not well-heeled financially, then it could be the end of your farming career. Of course, we were already under the gun on some of the prices through tariffs so, farming was in jeopardy as it was and now this weather situation.”