Recent attention has been given to the $350 million flood control plan. The Pearl River rose to 36.7 feet in the capital city, which is the third-highest peak ever recorded. Over 400 homes were damaged in Hinds, Madison and Madison counties by the floodwaters. The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency continued to monitor flooding downstream as of Monday. Environmental groups and a concerned downstream mayor voiced their opposition to the project that would create a dam and widen the river in the vicinity of Jackson. In a 2018 letter, Rep. Bennie Thompson echoed their concerns. They include impacts on endangered species, depletion of the wetlands, and unacknowledged infrastructure cost around landfills and bridges. Jill Mastrototaro, Audubon Mississippi, stated that “our interests represent a very wide and growing group of concern about the One Lake project.” Monticello Mayor Martha Watts and representatives from the Mississippi Chapter of The Sierra Club were also present. “Those groups include not only the conservation community but also municipalities, counties and faith groups, as well as key sectors of the economy.” A public meeting was held last Friday by One Lake’s local sponsor, Rankin Hinds Pearl River Flood and Drainage Control District to discuss the potential flood protection. According to estimates by an engineering firm contracted for the project, water sawped into 222 structures between Northeast Jackson and Downtown Jackson. Mandrop Engineering Services, based on an elevation analysis of these structures, concluded that One Lake would have prevented the inundation of 205 (or 92 percent) of the buildings. The Pearl has risen higher in the capital than it did in 1979, when Jackson was hit by the flood of records. Chokwe Lumumba, a Jackson Mayor and member of the levee board, stated that he is concerned about the effects that increased rainfall has had on Jackson’s lives. The final environmental study for the project was submitted by the levee board to the U.S. Assist Secretary of the Army in early March. This began a lengthy federal review. On Wednesday, opponents offered an alternative solution by highlighting the need to raise the levees and offer voluntary buyouts for floodplain residents. One Lake sponsors provided alternatives to the study as required by the National Environmental Policy Act. Mastrototaro claimed that the study did not consider buying every structure within the 100-year floodplain. This gave the option a $2B price tag. She stated that One Lake was the most attractive option financially. The January letter was submitted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to its federal counterpart. It addressed the issue of the Pearl River’s bottom 100 miles that run through Louisiana. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service stated that One Lake would not cause harm to endangered species within the project area. LDWF raised concerns about the implications of damming river for many species, particularly oysters, which depend on specific water flow rates. The Jan. 7 letter stated that LDWF was not opposed to flood protection in Jackson and surrounding areas. However, it expressed concern about the plan being presented. Fish and Wildlife Service used new water modeling data from levee board. The sponsors claim that it has no impact on water quantity or quality. The board also sent the data to the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. However, the new data has not been made public. Watts expressed concern about the impact of the project on Monticello, pointing out two large paper mills, which depend on the river for their supply. She said, “I feel for the Jacksonians and Rankin County people who have been affected by this recent event.” We are also suffering. Due to the sudden opening/closing of the (Ross Barnett Reservoir The river flows through everyone, so you can’t give one place ownership. Local leaders stressed the importance of finding a solution at Friday’s levee board meeting. Gary Rhoads (mayor of Flowood), was the board’s President. “There’s nothing more devastating than to see what remains of a flood.” It’s worse than a fire. We are all working together here, on both sides of this river.” Despite flooding in other parts of Mississippi, including the Pearl River downstream and more than 450,000 acres of land below the South Delta, Greg Michel, director of Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, said that the disasters have not overwhelmed the agency’s ability to handle them. In a statement to Mississippi Today, Michel said that “our agency remains strong when it comes down to our resources.” “We resource many our response assets through county support to avoid overtaxing the state resources.” Click Here for information about local shelters and reporting procedures. Click here to see the interactive map by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on the Pearl River flooding.