With storms gone, eyes along Mississippi turn to flood risk as near-record levels forecast

Published 5:09 pm Monday, February 25, 2019

All along the lower Mississippi River, emergency management officials are keeping watchful eyes on the predicted forecast as the already flood-level river is now expected to crest at near record levels in many places, including Natchez and Vicksburg.

The latest river forecast shows an expected crest on the Natchez river gauge of 58.0 feet on March 16. If the river reaches that level it would be the third-highest level ever recorded. If it even slightly tops that level, it could be the second-highest flood.

The record river crest in Natchez was at 61.95 feet on May 19, 2011. The current second-highest level recorded was 58.04 feet on Feb. 21, 1937.

Upriver in Vicksburg the river is forecast to crest at 51.5 feet on March 14. At that level the flood would tie the seventh-highest level set on Feb. 15, 196.

Historic crest levels for Natchez include:

(1) 61.95 ft on 05/19/2011
(2) 58.04 ft on 02/21/1937
(3) 57.12 ft on 03/18/2018
(4) 57.03 ft on 04/23/2008
(5) 56.75 ft on 01/17/2016
(6) 56.70 ft on 05/13/1973
(7) 56.60 ft on 05/04/1927
(8) 56.30 ft on 03/26/1997
(9) 55.70 ft on 05/31/1983
(10) 55.30 ft on 04/26/1922

Historic crest levels for Vicksburg include:
(1) 57.10 ft on 05/19/2011
(2) 56.20 ft on 05/04/1927
(3) 53.20 ft on 02/21/1937
(4) 52.80 ft on 06/06/1929
(5) 52.50 ft on 04/28/1922
(6) 51.60 ft on 05/13/1973
(7) 51.50 ft on 02/15/1916
(8) 51.00 ft on 04/20/2008
(9) 50.23 ft on 01/15/2016
(10) 50.20 ft on 04/16/1897

Down river in Louisiana, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers workers were preparing to open the Bonnet Carre Spillway, for only the 13 time since it was built in 1931