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Forecasting the rise or fall of the Mississippi River continues to challenge the experts as one storm system after another has dumped excessive rainfall throughout the valley.

Concordia Homeland Security Director Guy Murray said Tuesday that the latest forecast indicates a foot rise with a crest of 55 feet on May 7 at Natchez. Flood stage is 48 feet.

However, Tensas Basin Levee District Executive Director John Stringer said the weather forecast for the next two weeks is promising.

“The forecast for rain later this week has been reduced to an inch or less,” Stringer said. “The long-range forecast doesn’t show much rain until May 7.”

He said the Ouachita River at Monroe stood at 44.67 feet Tuesday, down two-tenths. Flood stage is 40 feet.

The Black River at Jonesville was up slightly at 50.42 feet on the upper gauge. Flood stage is 50 feet.

The lower pool stood at 43.8 feet.

Stringer said the Black River at Acme is basically stationary. It stood at 46.29 feet on Tuesday. Flood stage is 48 feet.

The Tensas River at Clayton was at the stage of 54.44 feet, up .07, and appears ready to crest, Stringer said.

Reports that water appeared to be rising within the Sicily Island Levee may be due to the fact that one pump at Haha Bayou and another at Fool River have not been working, Stringer said.

There are two pumps at Haha near Jonesville, but one has been out of commission.

A new motor, once installed on the pumping station on Fool River near Sicily Island, is expected to get that system back and running in the near future.

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