News / USA

Vicksburg Businesses Band Together to Fight Floodwater

Workers push to quickly complete a makeshift levee by packing dirt on top of an old railroad bed in the Green Meadow neighborhood of South Vicksburg, Mississippi, May 2011
Workers push to quickly complete a makeshift levee by packing dirt on top of an old railroad bed in the Green Meadow neighborhood of South Vicksburg, Mississippi, May 2011

Multimedia

Jeff Swicord

As flooding continues along the Mississippi River, happy outcomes are hard to come by. There is one neighborhood in the South Vicksburg area of Mississippi, though, where five small businesses have joined forces and devised a plan to build their own levee. With a little ingenuity and determined spirit, they are fortifying an old raised railroad track along the river, hoping to keep the water out of their property and hundreds of homes in the surrounding area.

In the Green Meadow neighborhood of South Vicksburg, the race is on against the rising water. Workers are rushing to complete a makeshift levee by packing dirt on top of an old railroad bed.

Authorities are expecting nearly four centimeters of rain to fall here within the next few days. Officials want to make sure the levee can hold back the additional water. Carl Harris is with the city of Vicksburg.

“If you look over the side the water is right here so, we are trying to beat the water and the deadline,” said Harris.

Floodwater has threatened more than 200 homes in two neighborhoods and a cluster of businesses along Interstate 61.

Morgan Spivey, shop foreman at a local company - Energy Services International - told VOA the initial flood estimates would have left them pretty dry. But when revised estimates were made, the company became alarmed.

“Well we knew the water was coming up," said Spivey. "We had our first crest stage at 53.5 [feet], which wouldn't affect us real bad. We would have some water in our loading dock in the back. And then three days later, they increased the crest level to 57.5. [17.5 meters].”

That would put one meter of water in the machine shop. So Spivey went to his boss, Clay Currie, with a plan that would save their business and two neighborhoods in the area.

"We have a natural railroad track behind the office," said Currie. "Went back and looked and saw how we could utilize that. And got with some other companies here locally on the south side of Vicksburg and made a plan to do what we could.”

At first, the city of Vicksburg, which owns the railroad tracks, was not very supportive of building the levee. So, the five local businesses began the project with their own money.

“We kicked the process off privately," said Currie. "A couple of local TV stations interviewed us, and some of the guys from the other companies that were working down there, and that kind of made it known that we weren't getting the assistance that we had hoped for.”

The city of Vicksburg quickly changed its mind. Spivey said that was the plan all along.

“We were really dependent on the city and the county to step in," he said. "Once they did step in, they took the job over and got a lot of the headache off of us.”

"So, at 57.5 [feet], this is where we expect the water level to reach," said Spivey. "If the levee system fails.”

Residents like Joe Pettway in the Green Meadow neighborhood are thrilled. He said they would have had half a meter of water in the house without the plan. But as a precaution, they will still be moving some of the essentials out.

"My mom is 86 and my brother is 54, but he's not in very good health," said Pettway. "So we feel like we need to move the majority of the appliances and bedroom furniture and that kind of stuff and just have a makeshift home, if you will, until the water recedes or starts receding."

But the city predicts a positive outcome for the neighborhood. And the Army Corps of Engineers is confident the levee will hold.

The project will be completed in the coming days, in plenty of time for the expected crest on the 19th.

You May Like

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to enhancement or regression of democracy for Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid