‘Farmers are going broke’, Backwater flood engulfing the Delta again

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REDWOOD, Miss. (WJTV) – In the Delta, homeowners in Warren and Issaquena counties are being pushed out of their homes because of backwater flooding. Farmers are also seeing their land covered with water.

The flooding nightmare from 2019 has returned to many parts of the Delta engulfing farmers’ livelihoods for the second year in a row and the only way for it to drain through the Steele Bayou Gates in just inches away from closing completely.

“We can’t keep doing this year after year,” Lora Scallions of Redwood said. “We have nowhere to go.”

Since 1992, Scallions has lived off Floweree Rd. with her son. But for the third year in a row, they’re forced to watch the Yazoo Backwater take it over.

“I’ve worked my whole life to pay that house off and I can’t even live in my own home,” Scallions explained. “Because they won’t do what they’re supposed to do. Which is build the pumps.”

Coming out of the 2019 backwater flood, Lora and her son, Brian, were almost finished rebuilding their property. They were only in their home for six months, before the backwater flood happened again and kicked them out.

“Everything I own is in that house right now except for the clothes on my back,” Scallions continued.

“Our air conditioner was broke, we had electrical problems from the water, so we had to fix all of that,” Brian Scallions told us. “We’re basically just now getting everything fixed and now it’s going to be torn up again.”

As rain runoff and backwater from waterways in the Delta flow south its only way of getting out is through the Steele Bayou Gates. But right now this structure is barley open due to high water levels on the Mississippi River. Forcing the “bathtub” known as the south Delta to fill up.

“Get the pumps installed, install them now,” Lora urged. “The farmers up here are going broke. They’re lost.”

“It took about 48 hours to get all this water in here and it happened that fast,” Brian explained.

The Carr family also lives on Floweree Rd. and they are in the same situation. They’re relying on friends to help them move out as water inches closer to their home.

“She’s been back in for four months, now having to move again,” Danny Barnes said. “As you can at the bottom of the house, this is what we didn’t get finished repairing from the last flood. Water caused it to rot, termites and mold and mildew inside.”

The main route to Eagle Lake, highway 465, was also closed off Sunday at 5:00 p.m. because of the flooding.

A project to build a pumping system to prevent backwater flooding was struck down in 2008 by the Environmental Protection agency. The agency said the pumps would harm wildlife, but locals are seeing animals negatively impacted by the major flooding now.

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