Hands Off the Levee Board | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Hands Off the Levee Board

We weren't surprised to learn that supporters of the Two Lakes Pearl development project are pushing the state Legislature to take more control of the local Levee Board—reconfiguring the appointees so that the board might finally support the controversial project that can't seem to get "yes" for an answer. The move isn't subtle.

We're disappointed to see a Jackson-based state legislator, Rep. Mary Coleman, introduce the bill that would give the governor and lieutenant governor four new appointees, along with a new one for the Hinds County Board of Supervisors and possibly a new one from Byram. The effect of this bill is a dilution of Jackson's influence on the board, as well as that of the mayors of metro cities that are directly affected by Pearl flooding.

Currently, five members of the board—including all the metro mayors—have voted to pursue a levee plan rather than keep flood control languishing in the controversial waters surrounding the ever-changing Two Lakes plan. Two of the board members—the Hinds County member and the state-appointed member—are against the move.

But should this bill pass, the board could clearly be stacked with Two Lakes supporters, and potentially non-local, un-elected voices.

At this juncture in the process, shaking up the Levee Board is not the solution, and it will not lead to a reasonable, "do-able" flood-control plan that can be implemented with the least harm locally, downstream and to the environment. It is also a remarkable insult to the entire metro area, not just Jackson.

This isn't the first time that Two Lakes supporters have used the political system to try to muscle their plan through. During the 2009 Jackson mayor's election, the Jackson Free Press discovered that the shadowy Better Jackson PAC, which had not filed campaign reports within legal deadlines, was peopled with property owners lining the theoretical Two Lakes map.

John McGowan himself was the largest donor.

We also reported that McGowan partners gave generously to the campaign of now-Pearl Mayor Brad Rogers, who beat the previous Pearl mayor, an anti-Two Lakes voter. Now, Rogers has jumped ship, voting to work toward levees as well.

Two Lakes proponents denigrate the 1996 Comprehensive Levee Plan that the Corps has recommended over Two Lakes in its latest study; that Levee plan is 14 years out-of-date thanks in part to Chip Pickering, who instructed the Corps to study Two Lakes and the 1996 levees—and no others.

Now is not the time for the Legislature to empower a special-interest group to—once again—game the political system and derail the Pearl River flood-control discussion, now going on 32 years since the 1979 flood without a workable solution. Vote no on HB-1549.

Previous Comments

ID
155992
Comment

HB-1549 is dead, thankfully: http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/2010/pdf/history/HB/HB1549.xml

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2010-02-12T12:05:01-06:00
ID
156995
Comment

Why have they dug man made lakes just north of the levee that sits on the Pearl Flowood city lines. Property that lies between Flowood Drive on the west side and Mangum Road in Pearl on the east side. Looks to be several lakes built possibly for duck hunting. I'm not sure what other purpose they would be used for but it does not seem like a good idea since they are just a few hundred yards from the levee that is the last measure of defense protecting the city of Pearl from flooding if Lakeland Drive and Flowood go under. Making holes and filling them with lots of water in a major flood prone area does not seem a good idea. The land was owned by Primos and initially looked like they were going to develop it but since the recession maybe that fell through and a nice duck hunting location sounded better. Just a guess since the land immediately adjacent on the south side of the levy has been transposed into a deer hunting camp with planted fields and all. Not a great idea either with homes and so much traffic on Flowood Drive and I55 just a hop skip and jump away. Maybe that explains two accidents involving deer near that same levee where it dead ends near the stack.

Author
HooYoo2say
Date
2010-03-31T14:26:41-06:00
ID
156997
Comment

Also several weeks ago after we had had several heavy rain storms the creek that runs parallel with the levee that crosses Flowood Drive was nearly topping its banks. I have never seen that creek even 1/4th that high. Not even close to that even during times like last spring when it rained for I think 20 days straight. I've seen that creek about one third that height once when we had a torrential rain flash flood episode. The water was about 1/3 of the bank's depth and it was flowing like a river. 2 weeks ago when it was overflowing its banks it was at a dead stand still. It had not rained more that what is normal, possibly even below normal. I'm not sure what could have caused so much water to back up but it is not a good sign as spring showers have not yet even begun.

Author
HooYoo2say
Date
2010-03-31T18:01:12-06:00
ID
156998
Comment

HooYoo2- the depth of water and whether it was flowing or not would depend on the height of water in the Pearl River since it flows into it. If the Pearl was high it would back up in that ditch and it's rate of flow slow down.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2010-03-31T22:01:09-06:00
ID
156999
Comment

The depth of the Pearl River has been much higher than it was at that present time and that ditch has never been anywhere close to the level it was a few weeks ago. In 10+ years I've never once seen it exceed even half that level. One day when it had not rained in nearly a week a ditch that runs into the main creek from the direction of the golf course was gushing water as if it was the reservoir dam. I have no idea where the water was coming from but someone most definitely had to have opened a gate somewhere. I've never noticed any water coming out of that side ditch unless it's raining cats and dogs. Much less on a clear dry sunny day after a rain free week. Someone is tweaking something somewhere and it's a hell of a lot of water!

Author
HooYoo2say
Date
2010-04-01T02:59:00-06:00

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