Vidalia Mayor Buz Craft met Tuesday with business representatives who operate on the Vidalia Riverfront to update them on Mississippi River stage projections and actions planned by the town.
He said sandbags would be placed at strategic points on the riverfront where “they will handle the projected crest right now. We’re keeping a close eye and staying updated with meteorological information on rainfall to the north.”
He said the crest of approximately 59 feet has been pushed back to June 10.
The mayor said businesses along the riverwalk employed an estimated 250 to 300.
“We don’t want to spend money if we don’t have to,” he said concerning protecting businesses from floodwaters. “We’re assessing assets and have the Hesco ready baskets if needed.”
While some residents have voiced opposition to protecting businesses on the Riverfront, Craft said he felt commitments made by the previous administration should be kept.
He said that if it appears the river will top the riverwalk itself that the town would have to have an access road and would provide protection.
Pedestrian traffic will be closed on the Riverwalk next week, he said, as a safety measure.
While optimistic that things will be fine, he said the town would continue to prepare and be ready to take action if the river continues to rise.
“We’re going to watch the money closely and not spend until necessary,” he said.
Once the waters recede, he said the town will assess losses and tackle infrastructure issues, including streets and sewers.