Mississippi governor calls flood threat ‘monumental’

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said the combination of heavy rains from the violent storms that have hit Mississippi and high water levels on the Mississippi River could produce a flood that will be “monumental” in the annals of his state.
Speaking at a press briefing at the Capitol Building this afternoon, Barbour said as many as 900,000 acres of farmland, much of it in the South Delta, could go under water as the Mississippi and area streams continue to rise.

Barbour urged residents in areas that could be impacted by the flooding to begin preparing to evacuate now and to not wait for the projected crest of the floodwaters on May 18 “because the roads in and out of the areas could be flooded before then.

“People need to take this very seriously,” he said. “It will be much easier for people to remove themselves and their personal belongings now than it will be to mount a rescue operation later,” he said. “That’s particularly true for the elderly.” (He noted studies have shown that a number of elderly persons died during rescue operations following Hurricane Katrina.)

Delta Farm Press
5/4/11