JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) -The Yazoo Backwater area has been underwater for months now and one Mississippi Senator is taking the concerns straight to the President.
The push for pumps is not a new one. The plan died in 2008 after EPA officials vetoed it because of concerns it would hurt the wetlands. But there’s a twist to Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith’s latest pitch to put in temporary pumps until something more permanent can be built.
“This floodwater is trapped and it’s not going anywhere for a long time unless it’s pumped out," said Sen. Hyde-Smith.
Her letter to the President makes note that the feds directed the Corps of Engineers to do the same thing in previously situations.
“Temporary pumps like the ones used after Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy are a short term solution that can bring some relief," noted Hyde-Smith. "FEMA and the Corps of Engineers have the authority and the funding to get pumps now in Mississippi.”
Hyde-Smith says the recently approved supplemental disaster funding package is what should provide enough money to deploy temporary pumps in the “near future”. Warren County Emergency Management Director John Elfer is glad to see a plan gaining ground.
“Any push to get any kind of pump to pump any amount of water out of there is a great thing,” explained John Elfer.
Elfer notes that no one anticipated the backwater flooding to last this long and those who live in the area have been pleading for help.
“It’s a huge economic impact to those folks," Elfer said. "It’s a huge emotional toll on them. This thing has been going on for so long now and not much national attention. So, maybe this will get things moving in the right direction.”