River heading higher at Natchez

Published 5:45 pm Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Mississippi River is expected to reach 53.5 feet on Monday at the Natchez/Vidalia, La., gauge. That is 5-1/2 feet above flood stage.

Marty Pope, a hydrologist at the National Weather Service’s Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center, says rain in the area above the Yazoo River was the biggest contributing factor to that elevated crest, though waters coming from the Arkansas River have also played a role.

The river levels are expected to fall slowly because of significant rises of water coming down the Mississippi River from above Cairo, Ill.

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In 2008, the river reached 57.03 feet, second only to the 1937 record of 58.04 feet.