- Associated Press - Sunday, January 3, 2016

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The Mississippi River continues a steady rise, but the Red River’s falling in northwest Louisiana.

The Red crested at 10 p.m. Saturday at 31.55 feet, and will fall slowly through the week, National Weather Service reports said Sunday. In Shreveport, hydro-meteorological technician Lisa May said she had heard of flooding only along one road and in low areas of some parks.

In Memphis, the weather service reported minor river flooding in northwest Mississippi, with major flooding forecast.

The river at Tunica was nearly 5 feet above flood stage, a level that usually floods some roads and agricultural fields, Meteorologist Zach Maye said.

Downriver at Jackson, minor flooding was reported at Natchez, with the river edging toward flood stage at Vicksburg.

The Mississippi is probably rising a foot or two a day, said meteorologist Latrice Maxie in Jackson.

She said that near Natchez, “some agricultural lands along the river are pretty much covered.”

Some smaller communities along the river near Vicksburg are getting backwater flooding from streams that cannot drain into the high river, Maxie said.

Ivera Kelly of the Kings community near Vicksburg said she had to leave her house in 2008 and for eight weeks in 2011. Even though water didn’t get into the house, which is 10 feet above ground, she plans to move to an apartment in a higher part of Vicksburg.

“I love this house. It’s my home. But I’m tired of moving,” she told The Clarion-Ledger (https://on.thec-l.com/1R5o1lD ).

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers learned from the 2011 flood, spokesman Greg Raimondo told The Vicksburg Post (https://bit.ly/1R93RHL ).

For instance, he said, the corps had to raise the level of Eagle Lake in 2011 to keep “sand boils” - water forced under the levee by the pressure of high water - from undermining the levee.

Drilling relief wells and piling earth into “seepage berms” will avoid that necessity this time around, he said.

He said “levee stompers” affiliated with levee boards are out in full force during floods.

“They are climbing all over the levees, looking for sand boils and slides. You’ll see them out there on ATVs,” Raimondo said.

Cattle farmer Sherwood Lyons and his wife, Melissa, worried that high water might force them to move their herd of 250 off the levee near Vicksburg.

“If we do have to move them, it’ll put us out of business,” he told the Vicksburg Post (https://bit.ly/1PFbi5S ). “We’ll have to sell out because we don’t have anywhere to put them.”

He said he’d probably have to get a crew on penning horses with herd dogs to pen the cattle, too.

“It’s a nightmare to be honest,” he said. “Those cattle get real nervous when the water’s coming up, and they’re hard to manage. They’re hard to get them in the pen because they’re so nervous about the water.”

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