Friday, May 13, 2011

As the Water Rises: The Yazoo Canal in Vicksburg, Mississippi

South of the Vicksburg waterfront and landing (seen in the previous blog entry), the concrete floodwall continues south about one mile past a Bunge Corp. grain facility and the Kansas City Southern railroad yard. This is usually a bustling place with hundreds of rail cars on the tracks, locomotives being rebuilt or fueled, and workers moving about.

On Thursday, May 12, the rail yard was deserted, absolutely quiet. I was astonished. The railroad moved all their rolling stock out in case the worst happens and the levees or floodgates fail.

Proceed further south and the concrete floodwall ends past the now-deserted Vicksburg Compress (topic of a future article). It becomes an earthen levee at a refinery, makes a turn, and ends at the railroad tracks. The two photographs above are looking southwest towards the Mississippi River. Dorsey Street is somewhere in the water. I saw a lot of bubbles and splashing in the water. Two dogs looked like they were catfish fishing.

You can drive south along a gravel road that parallels the tracks, you soon reach the Ergon Marine & Industrial Supply Dock. Diamond Jacks Casino, just to the south, closed, but Ergon built a temporary levee to keep the water out. It consists of some sort of sand-filled cribs with plastic sheeting and thousands of sand bags to secure the sheeting. What a job it will be to remove all this material later this summer.

In Friday's Vicksburg Post, a guard at the Diamond Jacks parking lot said he saw boars (you know, big nasty hairy pigs) coming out of the water. Vicksburg police evacuated the city front park.

(Poscript May 20, 2011: The levee around the Ergon dock failed and the area on the right side of the photograph above filled up with water.)

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