Holly Bluff business struggles to stay afloat after historic flood dries up revenue

Holly Bluff business struggles to stay afloat after historic flood dries up revenue

Yazoo County, Miss. (WLBT) - In Yazoo County, record high floodwaters continue to inundate the Holly Bluff community.

Emergency officials say dozens of families have evacuated since the water began rising more than three months ago. Now, some businesses are struggling to stay afloat.

It’s noon at Junae Brooks’ Grocery Store. Usually there is a lunchtime rush, but the flood has dried up revenue. This is one of several establishments negatively impacted by backwater flooding.

Brooks is concerned about the survival of this business.

“Normally, around March, we pick up business with the farmers, but we haven’t had farmers in since last year due to flooding,” she said.

The historic flooding has been a disaster for many residents and farmers in the community. They are losing money and patience.

“It is just devastating. You have grown men coming in daily crying," said Brooks. “They are crying because their whole lives they have worked to build their livelihood for their families and it is nothing they can do about the flood.”

Emergency officials say the gates at the Steele Bayou Control Structure have been closed for almost a week, keeping this backwater trapped in the community.

“The biggest fear in the community, at this time, is to have a rain event to put us right back where we were. These people are already frustrated and they have been dealing with this for more than 120 days. We want to try to get it out as quick as we can,” said Emergency Management Director Jack Willingham.

Brooks is pushing for pumps to be installed to relieve the backwater flooding - a plan that was vetoed by the EPA over a decade ago due to environmental concerns.

“I am not an engineer, but there needs to be a way to help everyone in situation,” said Brooks.

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