Mississippi River rises, flooding worsens

Courtesy: KNOE
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VICKSBURG, Ms (KNOE 8 News)- "In Vicksburg we have to put temporary gates up so that it will become a permanent wall for the protection and to contain the water into the river," says Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs.

As water levels continue to rise, the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative met in Vicksburg to plan out how they'll handle the flooding.

"I think we are in great condition, we've been able to make the preparations necessary for the water overflow because of the flood. We've been able to protect one of our most historic museums," says Flaggs.

Many have compared this situation to the flood in 2011, but Vidalia's Mayor Hyram Copeland says it taught them a lot.

"We were looking at really the flooding conditions on the Vidalia riverfront and now with the change of the crest to 58 feet we think we may not have water on the riverfront but we are still preparing just in case with our Hesco baskets, sand bags and securing our water wells," says Vidalia Mayor Hyram Copeland.

The city of Tallulah's mayor says the levees in Madison Parish are holding for now, but his fear lies on the other side of the river.

"We're just concerned about our sister area across the river here in Vicksburg because we are going to eventually if anything were to go down, we would become what we call a safe haven shelter," says Tallulah Mayor Paxton Branch.

The water is expected to reach a crest of 52 feet by January 19th, which is about six feet lower than the flood level in 2011.

Still the mayors encourage those living close to the Mississippi River to monitor the water levels and evacuate when necessary.