March 27, 2019


  1. The NWS has looked at the 16-day rainfall forecast and it looks like the MS River will drop 8’ over the next 15 days to about a foot below Flood Stage, then it will level out for a week before continuing to fall.
  2. It looks like the Steele Bayou Structure gates can re-open in approximately 5 days around April 1st .


The Backwater is at 97.1’ (the worst flood since 1973) – over 500,000 acres are flooded and homes, roads and highways are flooded in the MS South Delta. Looks like the Backwater will creep up to 97.5’ before the gates can re-open.


Flood     Current     Predicted

Gage                   Stage     Stage        Crest & Date

Cairo (Ohio Rv)  40’         44.5’      Crested at 56.5’ on 3/1/19

Memphis            34’         35.3’      Crested at 41.4’ on 3/5/19

Helena                 44’        45.8’      Crested at 49.6’ on 3/6/19

Arkansas City     37’        43.0’      Crested at 44.7’ on 3/8/19

Greenville           48’        55.3’      Crested at 57.0 on 3/12/19

Vicksburg            43’        50.3’      Crested at 51.4’ on 3/12/19

Natchez               48’        57.0’      Crested at 57.9’ on 3/12/19


The Steele Bayou Structure Gates were closed February 15th.  The Backwater (landside) is at 97.13’ and the riverside is at 98.60’. With the water currently on the ground and the rainfall predicted over the next 7-days the Backwater looks like it will get to around 97.5’.  With the current long range forecast – it looks like the Steele Bayou Gates could re-open in about 6 days around April 1st.

The Backwater has overtopped several roads: Blanton Road (92’), Spanish Fort Road (92.5’), Goose Lake Road (93.4’), Low-water Bridge Road (93.7’), Hwy 465 (between the YBW Levee and Eagle Lake Gin), Hwy 16 in the Delta National Forest between Rolling & Holly Bluff (96.0’), and the Sartatia Road east of Holly Bluff.


Wolf Lake crested at 101. 38 on March 14th and is currently at 100.19’.

On March 22nd MDOT re-opened Hwy 149 near Erickson Road east of the Will Whittington East Guide Levee. This Hwy 149 had been closed from March 8-21, 2019.

The Satartia Road east of the Will Whittington East Guide Levee is closed.


The Corps closed the Muddy Bayou Control Structure March 17th when Eagle Lake level was 86.0’. They had opened the Muddy Bayou Structure on March 12th when Eagle Lake was at 80.9’. The Muddy Bayou Structure is located at Eagle Lake and it regulates the flow between Eagle Lake and Steele Bayou. The gates were opened to prevent damage to the Muddy Bayou Control Structure and to prevent scour or further damage to roads and homes surrounding Eagle Lake. The lake is currently at 87.78’.  The Backwater has overtopped Eagle Lake Shore Road and the Muddy Bayou Structure and the backwater is starting to slowly fill up Eagle Lake.


MDOT closed Hwy 465 on the riverside of the levee on February 23rd.  MDOT closed HWY 465 on the protected side of the levee between the Yazoo Backwater Levee and the Eagle Lake Gin on March 4th. The Mississippi Levee Board closed the YBW Levee at Hwy 61 on March 4th due to the thousands of deer that are trapped on the Brunswick Extension Levee.  MDOT has closed off Hwy 465 just south of Hwy 1.

Eagle Lake residents can travel up Hwy 61 to Onward, MS, then take Hwy 1 North over to Fitler, MS and then take the Mainline Mississippi River Levee South to get back and forth to Eagle Lake.  WARNING: The Levee from Fitler back to Hwy 465 on top of the levee is very narrow and made of sand-clay gravel – please use extreme caution. Light vehicular traffic will be allowed to use this levee. There is an 8 Ton Limit – No heavy trucks or equipment will be allowed.

The Backwater has overtopped Eagle Lake Shore Road on the south side of Eagle Lake and it is overtopping the top bank of Eagle Lake in this area. Eagle Lake residents sandbagged the edge of Eagle Lake Shore Road on Saturday and so far it is keeping the backwater from overtopping the road and entering Eagle Lake.


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers inspectors are inspecting the levee and will continue to inspect throughout the duration of the highwater event.  No major issues have been found. The Mississippi Levee Board staff & crew stand ready to perform necessary flood fighting work. At this forecast crest we do not anticipate any major issues on the protected side of the levee.

We will continue monitoring the situation and keep you informed.


Peter Nimrod

Chief Engineer

MS Levee Board