WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss. today met with commissioners from the Mississippi Levee Board and Yazoo-Mississippi Delta Levee Board to discuss the potential impact of rising floodwaters in the Mississippi and Yazoo River basins and to address projects to improve flood control infrastructure in the state.
The Army Corps of Engineers has reported flooding along the Mississippi River in Natchez, Vicksburg, and Greenville, and along the Yazoo River in Marks. The Vicksburg District of the Army Corps has activated its flood teams in response to the rising waters, in addition to monitoring the dams, placing sandbags, and providing flood-fighting equipment to affected areas. The floodwaters are expected to crest in mid-March, leaving many river access roads and low-lying areas near the river underwater.
The levee boards reported they have been actively monitoring the flooding, including increased inspections of the levees, even though the boards do not expect any damage to the levees. Commissioners noted that recent investments in flood control infrastructure have helped to reduce the expected impact.
Wicker and the commissioners discussed funding needs for several projects that are part of the Mississippi River and Tributaries (MR&T) project, which includes support for levees and floodwalls, channel improvement and stabilization, tributary basin improvements, and floodways management. Wicker committed to helping the levee boards secure much-needed funding to complete the MR&T projects and support maintenance of existing flood control infrastructure.
Commissioners highlighted the high return on investment of the MR&T projects, which have prevented more than $1 trillion in flood damages since 1928, or $67 for every dollar invested.