Barbour: State will do all it can as waters rise

By Mike McDaniel - email
JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - "Every river county is going to flood," said Governor Haley Barbour.

As the Mighty Mississippi begins to show its might, the state of Mississippi is preparing for the worst and if the predictions are right, that'll be just the case.

"This is going to be a monumental flood," said Barbour.

The river isn't expected to crest for another week or two depending on the area, which will send the flood waters much further and higher than they already are. Not knowing just what damage will be done Governor Barbour says evacuations are key.

"Evacuation is far, far superior to rescue," said Barbour.

While Barbour is pressing for folks to get out, he says the state will be doing all it can.

"You have to let people know that the state's going to help, that they're going to be able to come back, that their communities are going to rebuild and that there's not only reason for hope but there's reason for confidence," said Barbour.

Along the Mississippi River, places like Vicksburg are under voluntary evacuations, where folks are already leaving their homes.

"It would be a travesty if we have anyone loose their life or endanger their family or their property for lack of perpetration," said Vicksburg Mayor Paul Winfield.

Barbour says mandatory evacuations will probably come and task forces are already being set up to help folks who will be not only out of work, but out of their home.

Thousands of folks are expected to need temporary housing once the flood waters set in. The only problem at this point is there's no where to go

"We're going to try to keep them as close to home as we can but the fact of the matter is in many of these areas, there are no facilities," said Barbour.

Emergency leaders say the best plan of action will come locally.

"We advise people to take direction from the local emergency management and local officials," said FEMA representative Terry Quarles.

Flood waters are expected to stick around for weeks, damaging crop land and personal property,which Barbour says is unfortunate, but at least foreseeable.

"The one things about floods, as terrible as they are, you have lots of warning. We know days and days and days that this is coming."