‘Finish The Pumps’ Billboards Cause Controversy


The effort of citizens affected by the Great Backwater Flood of 2019 to get the attention of President Donald Trump has caused concern among some. A group of four residents put up billboards advocating finishing the pumps that many say would alleviate most of the flooding problems in the South Delta.

Immediately after the signs went up some people questioned why the president was being blamed for the pumps.

“Why are the people flooded out bringing Trump into the pump situation?” Eric Hamby asked on social media.

Similar questions and comments have been posted on social media by several people.

“He doesn’t have anything to do with the pumps,” said Ronda Boatman, and Brittany Nevels stated, “Seems like a good waste of money.”

Gene Ford, one of the people who paid for the signs, responded. “Was it your money?”

The heated exchanges have been going on since the billboards were installed.

The purpose of the billboards was to draw national media attention to the desire of flood victims for the pumps to be built. And they worked. A story published by the Vicksburg Daily News has over 10,000 local views and populated nationwide in under eight hours. That is a lot of attention for a local story. The next day all three Jackson television stations showed up in front of a flooded home in Redwood. Soon after the story showed up in larger print publications.

As the ongoing battle to survive the flood trudges on, those most affected are fighting back with whatever tools they have. The billboards were one way to get the information out there, like them or not.

“Anyone who knows the current situation in the flood zone certainly knows the billboards are not blaming Trump in any way whatsoever,” billboard supporter and funding source Gene Ford commented. “They are a cry for help from ALL politicians for help in getting the badly needed pumps installed. Without a doubt, the billboards bring a little comfort to the people affected by the flooding.”

Supporters have paid for the billboards to be up at least another two to three months.