Published 12:00 am Monday, March 21, 2016

Flood control dams doing their job for North Miss.

Recent flooding, on the western edge of Panola, adjacent western counties and others downstream, has brought to light two or three unappreciated assets that our government–the one that we like to fuss about so much–has provided for us.
One of those is a system of flood control lakes.
Arkabutla, Sardis, Enid and Grenada U.S. Corps of Engineer Lakes are doing the job for which they were designed. By holding back water from each of their drainage areas into pools or reservoirs drained each fall and winter with anticipation of heavy spring rains, they kept the most of us dry during a tremendous weather event.
Had Sardis Dam not been in place, or if the water level had been high enough to crest over the emergency spillway, much more property would have been damaged in Panola and downstream.
Panola County’s Emergency Management Agency has been staffed, trained and equipped to handle a variety of events deemed emergencies and high water is one of them. In that county department, staff and volunteers have been trained, equipped and plans have been made to deal with most catastrophes as well as the mountains of paperwork that follow while applying for assistance.
EMAs were promoted and given a higher priority shortly after 9/11 and four years later after Hurricane Katrina hit, Mississippi fully bought in and our area has an organized, efficient chain of command to deal with emergencies whether local or national.
Federal Emergency Management Flood Plain regulations allow localities to buy into the National Flood Insurance Program as long as certain criteria are met with construction. The program has obviously been successful in Panola. The county’s Flood Plain Manager reported this week that no residence that received permitting by complying with flood plain regulations had, “any water at all.”
In this “What have you done for me lately,” world we live in, we need to remind ourselves of these blessings.

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