River crests at Vicksburg; Coast Guard chief visits

By: AP
By: AP

VICKSBURG, Miss. -- No more evacuations are anticipated in the Mississippi city of Vicksburg, now that the Mississippi River has crested a bit lower than expected.

Some 2,000 people in that area have already been forced from their homes. With the river at more than 14 feet above flood stage, authorities have been worried that water might spill over a levee north of town, inundating thousands of acres of farmland.

They now don't think the river will get any higher at Vicksburg, though it could remain above flood stage until mid-June.

In the Louisiana community of Butte LaRose, a mandatory evacuation order kicks in tomorrow, as water pouring into a spillway upstream starts reaching a river basin. Authorities have been going door to door notifying residents who haven't already evacuated.

The Coast Guard commandant, Adm. Robert Papp, toured some of the flooded areas today, starting in Natchez.

He was also briefed on efforts to control ship traffic, which has been disrupted by the flooding. Officials say they plan to spend at least a week re-marking the river so cargo ships and barges can safely navigate the waterway.

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