Gary Walker, project manager for the Army Corps of Engineers' Vicksburg district, told members of the Rankin-Hinds Pearl River Flood and Drainage Control District this week that flood reduction does appear possible in a proposed one-lake development along the Pearl River. Walker said he expects the Corps to issue a letter to that effect by the end of the week. He added that though the one-lake plan seems to lower flood stages in Jackson, further study is needed to determine whether the plan actually controls flooding.
The Levee Board has been working hand-in-hand with the not-for-profit organization Pearl River Vision Foundation, which assists and represents the Levee Board in negotiations with the Corps to update the Pearl River's flood-control plan. The nonprofit, backed by McGowan Working Partners founder John McGowan, has been studying the feasibility of one lake, along with possible environmental impacts.
Early last year, McGowan retooled his Two Lakes of Mississippi Foundation into PRVF, and the Levee Board got on board with the new compromise plan. McGowan has told the Jackson Free Press that the new plan would allow the second lake to be added to the north of the one-lake plan at a later date, should there be the will to do it at a later time.
Levee Board member Socrates Garrett welcomed the news, which comes just before the 33-year anniversary of the 1979 flood. "This is great news. We've come a mighty long way," Garrett said.