JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Flood ravaged Mississippi Delta residents wondering how did we get here and where do we go from here, got answers at Holly Bluff Baptist Church in a recovery-resources meeting Thursday evening.
It was a packed house at Holly Bluff Baptist Church to get updates from a variety of officials, including representatives of MEMA, FEMA , congress and relief agencies
Shane McGivney, state director of the Mississippi Baptist Convention Disaster Relief said, “It is a terrible disaster that has occurred here and certainly a lot of hurt that’s been going on and so, hopefully, we’re gonna hear a lot of good answers and maybe some suggestions on how to move forward to try to help the community bounce back.”
The historic flooding, now into it’s sixth month, claiming a half-million acres - 250-thousand of those farm land - a devastating situation for farmers like Clay Adcock.
He said, “Oh, it’s gone. Crops are over with. No one has a crop here.”
Experts from the Corps of Engineers explaining the historic amount of rain in regions that feed into the Mississippi River offering hope that the worst may be over. The Yazoo backwater still 10-feet above flood stage on the Mississippi River side, 95-feet.
One message pushed for and resonating with everyone here:
“We need the Yazoo backwater pumps. This was a preventable flood. This was a man-made flood. This was not a natural disaster,” said Adcock.
So why hasn’t there been a federal disaster declaration? In this case, it’s a catch-22 situation.
Adcock said, “Right, this is a different disaster. Notice most come and go quickly and they can get in and assess the damage. This has been going on six months. They can’t even get in to look at what’s damaged.”
Concern over the impact on the wetlands has stalled the pump project up to this point. The folks here hoping the impasse can be resolved so that a disaster of this magnitude won’t happen again.
There are five south Delta counties impacted by the historic flooding: Issaquena, Humphries, Sharkey, Warren and Yazoo.