Vidalia Mayor Buz Craft said residents might consider making precautionary plans as the Mississippi River now stands above flood stage and will likely remain so for a while.
He said being prepared for a flood is no different than planning an escape route from you home in the event of a fire or knowing what to do in the event of a storm. He said flood insurance was an option to considerer as well.
“This is not a warning or a danger sign,” he said at the regular meeting of the Vidalia Board of Aldermen Tuesday night, adding that he simply wanted residents to think about what they would do in the event of an emergency situation.
Craft said he had total confidence in the Corps of Engineers and other officials to keep everyone informed.
The Mississippi crested at 57.9 feet this week, almost 10 feet above flood stage.
Concordia Parish Homeland Security Director Guy Murray said the river will remain at its present stage for a few days and then began a slow fall.
He said the projection is for the river to fall to approximately 55 feet on March 27.
Fifth District Levee Board Superintendent Jason Trichell said Tuesday that levees are being monitored and there are no major issues to report.
Craft said that the spring thaw up north would send more water down the Mississippi but that hopefully the river stage will be lower when that begins.
He said that the high water is taking a toll on subsurface infrastructure in town and that there will be sinkholes.
“Until the water goes down we can’t address these things,” he said.
Several questions and comments were taken from meeting attendees ranging from the operation of spillways along the river and to the need for dredging.
Craft said he met with members of the state’s Congressional delegation in Washington D.C. last week to discuss flooding and other issues.
Additionally, he announced that he was in discussions with Viking Cruise Lines about having its ships dock at a marina adjacent to the convention center.