Miss. Senators give update on Yazoo Pumps project

Backwater flooding in the South Mississippi Delta has been a problem for years.
Backwater flooding in the South Mississippi Delta has been a problem for years.
Updated: Oct. 16, 2020 at 2:40 PM CDT
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YAZOO, Miss. (WLBT) - U.S. Senators Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith praised the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for releasing an updated draft designed to control flooding in the Yazoo Backwater area.

The new draft follows an announcement from the Corps in April that they would be considering an update to a 2007 environmental impact statement that formed the basis of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) veto of the Yazoo Pumps Project in 2008.

“This is a positive step forward for the residents of the South Mississippi Delta who have long been pleading for relief," Wickers said. "The Army Corps of Engineers' new report represents the latest data on the impact of backwater floods that have devastated wildlife, destroyed crops, and damaged homes throughout the Yazoo Backwater Area. While this project is still far from the finish line, I am encouraged that the Corps has listened to the people of Mississippi and seen the impact of the floods on our state and our environment.

“The Vicksburg District’s recommendation to move forward with a new and improved Yazoo Area Pump Project proposal is a significant milestone,” said Hyde-Smith. “Residents of the South Mississippi Delta have suffered enough. Over the past decade, we have lost lives, homes and businesses, suffered hundreds of millions in economic damages, and observed catastrophic impacts to the environment and wildlife.”

Wicker says the Corps’s draft report is based on new environmental data from the Yazoo Backwater Area, and specifically the Yazoo Study Area.

The Corps' draft plan recommends a new location for the Yazoo Backwater pumping station, which would be operated by natural gas rather than diesel. It would also entail thousands of acres of conservation easements for reforestation, and the installation of 34 supplemental low flow groundwater wells to enhance aquatic resources.

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