JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – A proposed plan to widen the Pearl River to help prevent flooding in Jackson drew mixed reactions from residents and local leaders.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers hosted a meeting to discuss the One Lake Project on Wednesday, May 24.
The project includes the creation of a 1,400 acre lake along the Pearl River, stretching from Lakeland Drive to Interstate 20.
“Everybody in the whole state will benefit from this big project. As people say, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to do something, and we need to do something that matters,” said Perry Richards, who lives in Jackson.
“A lot of the communities that have seen their home value decrease because the water rises up in to their yards and homes every four to five years. If you can get control of that, you’d really see the increase of home value in those communities,” said Jackson City Council President Ashby Foote, Ward 1.
Others are opposed to the plan and called it an economic development masquerading as flood control.
“You say you’re having problems with funding, but what you need is more tax money in order to do this, and we the people don’t want it,” said State Rep. Becky Currie (R-District 92).
“It would actually not only be really bad for wildlife and destroying about 2,500 acres of floodplain and wetland habitat, but it actually would also be bad for the people of the community as well, because all of that habitat helps already protect the community at large from flooding. And so, one like actually would put more people and property in harm’s way,” said Jill Mastrototaro, Mississippi policy director at Audubon Delta.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said they’re open to other suggestions on how to stop the flooding. They’re expected to draft a study, which would be released in the fall.