As the Mississippi River Continues to Flood, Residents Demand EPA Action
By Phil McCausland and Alex Rozier, Mississippi Today
The chest-deep water currently surrounding Stormy Deere's house is expected to remain there until at least July. The home she lives in with her husband is safely elevated on a mound of dirt and brick, but she has had to take a boat to reach it since early March.
Nothing has changed for months.
Deere, 44, loads her dogs on the boat twice a day when she must take them for walks, though she leaves the smallest one at home for fear of the alligators that live in these waters. This way of life, she said, is untenable.
“Emotionally, I have good days and I have bad days,” she said. “Some days I’m ready to go, some days I look outside and I want to despair. I want to just lie down and die. But that’s not an option.”
Record rainfall has led to the persistent flooding this year. That’s caused the Mississippi River at nearby Vicksburg to remain above flood stage, which is the water level that can cause massive flooding, for more than 114 consecutive days. That’s the longest span since 1927, according to the Mississippi River Levee Board. The water has also reached the highest level since 1973.
And while 2019 has been extreme, flooding in the Yazoo Backwater Area, as this part of the state is known, happens nearly every single year. Since 2000, there have only been five years when it hasn’t flooded here.