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“I pray it doesn’t rain” – EPA and Corps meet to hear flood victims



delta flood victims
EPA Regional Administrator Jeaneanne Gettle and Assistant Secretary of the Army, Michael Connor listen to Tracy Hardin. Photo by David Day

Meetings are being held all day Wednesday at the Vicksburg District for the Army Corps of Engineers on Clay Street, a direct result of a meeting called by Representative Bennie Thompson in Rolling Fork, to hear Delta flood victims speak.

EPA Regional Administrator Jeaneanne Gettle and Assistant Secretary of the Army, Michael Connor were the governmental officials on hand to hear the concerns of flood victims.

“This is the result of a memorandum I signed with my counterpart at the EPA,” explained Connor. “Our approach is different because we are working together.”

Gettle said, “We are absolutely committed to working together …to find a solution.” Gettle went on to set out a timeline that includes presenting a solution to the community in April.

People who were impacted by the flood spoke to the assembled governmental representatives. Tracy Hardin, the owner of Chuck’s Dairy Bar in Rolling Fork, spoke first. Her emotional words convey the stress of driving through the flood waters since she was a child growing up at Eagle Lake. “I pray it doesn’t rain,” said Hardin.

tracy hardin

An emotional Tracy Hardin tells her flood story. Photo by David Day

Delta farmer Clay Adcock spoke followed by another Holly Bluff resident who has suffered ill health as a direct of result of working to save her home from the flood.

A representative of the Mississippi Wildlife Federation talked about her group’s history of supporting environmental groups in the past. “I asked them when had they last updated their information and they gave me blank stares.”

Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace spoke at this meeting and opened with, “The flood of 2019 is the most devastating flood I’ve experienced.”

sheriff pace

Sheriff Pace speaks to the EPA and the Corp. Photo by David Day

The meetings today will be followed by meetings between the EPA and the Corp to settle on a plan by the end of March. That plan will be presented to the public in April and feedback will be welcomed. The EPA and the Army Corp have set June as the month to have the plan finalized and begin the process of implementing that plan.

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