Mississippi river floodwaters swallow up homes in Delta

VICKSBURG -- Elaine Fuller walked through her empty home in a rural community near Yazoo City.

Do you live here? A stranger asked her.

She looked them straight in the eye and said, “I did.”

When the word came down that the Mississippi River would be higher than it has ever been in her lifetime of 74 years, she and her daughter began putting her things in the attic.

“Then the FEMA man came by a couple of days ago and said I had to leave,” she said. The water from the Yazoo River, backing up because it can’t flow into the swollen Mississippi, will inundate her modest, brick ranch home and the other structures on the rambling property.

“They said I might be able to see the roof,” she said.

With the help of church friends, neighbors and family, she put on white waders, packed her belongings -- everything but a clock on the kitchen wall -- filled an 18-wheeler van and had it hauled away.

With 12 brothers and sisters and three grown children of her own, she has options, but she plans on staying as close to her property as possible and visiting the house by boat in the coming weeks.

She knows, however, if the water stays as long as they predict, there won’t be much left to come back to.

“You might as well push it over,” she said. Her face was peaceful as she went through her empty rooms, a house where she and her husband lived for several decades and close relatives before them. Her yard, the old roses and special ferns at the back door, an ancient pecan tree surrounded by lush green grass, the fence row, it will all be under water.

Clay Adcock, Fuller’s neighbor down the road in Holly Bluff, is on the protected side of the backwater levee that won’t protect Fuller. But he’s also preparing for the worst for his 3,200 acres of farmland and home. Protected is a relative term when the Mississippi shows its might.

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