Flood victims lobby for backwater pumps in the Mississippi Delta

Backwater flooding in the MS Delta

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Residents in the Mississippi Delta impacted by flooding, are hoping state representatives in Washington, can help push through a pumping station project.

The pumping station project which was tabled a decade ago, would help minimize flooding, in counties where over 500,000 acres are now underwater.

During a community meeting Friday in Valley Park, Congressman Bennie Thompson addressed the crowd saying he was in support of a pumping station to mitigate flooding in the area.

Yazoo backwater pumps meeting
Yazoo backwater pumps meeting (Source: david kenney)

Residents presented him a petition with 5,000 signatures of those also in favor of the pump plan.

The EPA which vetoed a plan to build the pumps in 2008 is now reconsidering their decision.

If installed, the pumps would drain water out of the Mississippi Delta, avoiding widespread flooding like we’re seeing now.

Congressman Bennie Thompson said, “We need to make the case with other members of Congress, we have to find out the implications for downstream and in certain we have to convince people who live south of the district that were not moving this problem on them.”

The Yazoo backwater pumps would cost nearly $300 million.

They would take about four years to construct, and would be located near the Steele Bayou Drainage Structure, which now serves as a flood control device.

The Mississippi Levee Board, the Army Corp of Engineers and Governor Phil Bryant also support the project.

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