Mississippi River Commission makes stop in River City to hear flooding concerns

Mississippi River Commission makes stop in River City to hear flooding concerns

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The group that oversees flood control projects on the Mississippi River made a visit to the River City today.

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann addressed commission members, voicing concerns about the impact the floods had on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

He says massive amounts of silt released through the Bonnet Carre Spillway resulted in a 95 percent loss in gulf oysters, which could take up to 10 years to recover.

Mississippi River Commission
Mississippi River Commission (Source: david kenney)

Delbert Hosemann said, “The muddy water they’re releasing, which was only going to go into Lake Ponchatrain because of the depth and length that they’re releasing it, it’s going all the way to Biloxi.”

The financial impact on coastal fishermen has yet to be seen, but there’s been over $500 million in losses for un-planted crops in the South Delta due to flooding, according to Agriculture Commissioner Andy Gipson, who is also pushing for pumps.

“This is a systematic river wide issue that is causing so many of these historic floods," said Gipson. "We got to look at the big picture. Not just short term solutions, but long term. I want to help you get the funding you need and get the support from the EPA you need to get the job done.”

“We,re currently working right now with the EPA to come up with a solution so that we can get a project we all can agree to,” said Major General Mark Toy with the Corp of Engineers.

Several residents also pitched a pump plan before commissioners, a plan that was vetoed by the EPA in 2008 but is now gaining momentum.

“We’re fighting to spread the truth and the facts of the benefits of the Yazoo Pumps for not only residents of the lower Mississippi Delta, but for every taxpayer in our country that will bear the burden of the recovery of this flood,” said Eagle Lake resident Ann Dahl.

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