HED: Officials to take another look at Calhoun County flooding
By Marty Russell
In an ongoing effort to reduce flooding and erosion along the Yalobusha River in Calhoun County, a meeting has been scheduled Friday for local landowners to meet with two state congressmen, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials and local officials to discuss possible solutions.
The meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday at City Hall in Calhoun City.
In addition to Corps of Engineers and local officials, 1st District U.S. Rep. Roger Wicker and 4th District U.S. Rep. Mike Parker, both members of the House Appropriations Committee, will attend.
Parker serves on the Energy and Water Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee. That subcommittee is responsible for funding construction, maintenance and flood control on the nation’s waterways.
“I invited Congressman Parker to Calhoun County to get a firsthand look at the situation along the Yalobusha before his subcommittee begins work on the Fiscal Year 1997 funding bill,” Wicker said.
Representing the Corps of Engineers will be Col. Gary Wright, commander of the Vicksburg District, and Roy Smith, district engineer.
Wicker is proposing that the Yalobusha be designated a watershed project under the Corps’ Demonstration Erosion Control Program.
In the past, the Corps has dealt with the problem caused by debris blocking the channel by buying up lands affected by the flooding. As of last year, the Corps had purchased 11,500 acres of land adjacent to the river and its tributaries in Calhoun County.
Local landowners, however, say they do not want to lose their land and have asked government officials to find a solution to the flooding.
Proposals to do that have ranged from clearing the channel to building 10 dams and 17 bridges and clearing 23 miles of channel at a cost of $91 million.
The main source of the blockage is a bridge on Corps property near the Big Creek area in southwest Calhoun County. Following Friday’s meeting, the government officials are expected to tour the area by boat to inspect the blockage personally.