Friday, May 13, 2011

Vicksburg, MS

We left Natchez and headed north to Vicksburg, following the Natchez Trace most of the way. We stopped at Mount Locust, the oldest building and only remaining inn left along the trace.

I couldn't resist the fragrance of this magnolia blossom.

The ranger suggested "The Old Country Store" for a traditional southern meal, buffet style. It was only a few miles off the trace. True to his word, they had great fried chicken, greens, green beans, black eyed peas and cornbread.

We stopped at Rocky Springs, now a ghost town. But until last summer, this church was still used on a regular basis. But most of the congregation has passed on and only a few members remained and as of June 2010 no longer have services.

But the doors are still open for visitors to stop in.

It was hard to imagine this area holding a population of 2600. The sign says over 2000 of those were slaves.

We found Diamond Jack's Casino was closed due to flooding. Vicksburg still has a week before it sees the worst of the rising water.

Downtown the river wall is under constant surveillance for leaks and problems.

The water was above this mans head, which was about halfway up the wall. The wall was built to survive a 65 ft flood. This years flood is suppose to crest at 57.5 ft, the highest in history.

The Yazoo and Mississippi Valley R.R. Station is underwater. Normally you can drive on the street behind the R.R. station. We spent 2 days in Vicksburg and watched the water rise over a foot.

This was the water level on the day we arrived, Wed., May 11. Note the space under the sign and how you can see the wheels on the caboose.

This was today, Fri., May 13. You can't even see the wheels on the caboose and no more space under the sign. And the water still has a week before it crests. Highway 61 is now closed both north and south of Vicksburg and they have started voluntary evacuations in some surrounding rural areas.

There were lots of TV crews taping the flood. This is a freelance reporter who had just finished a world news live report.

This was the inside of his van.

We saw NBC, CNN, along with many local news vans. WAPT, channel 16, interviewed Tom while we were watching the flood.

Max walked down to the edge of the water in front of the railroad station. Luckily most of Vicksburg is on top of the bluff and very few businesses and homes are in danger. Outside of Vicksburg, that is not the case. Much of the countryside is already suffering damage from backwater flooding. Fields and crops are underwater and people have already had to leave their homes. A Elks Lodge member was telling us they had shut down the Grand Gulf Nuclear Plant since some of the roads were already underwater. I think it will be a long time before we really see and feel all the damage this flood is causing.

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