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E All-p D Up • pAGE UrpO SE • pAGE E3 • pA GE E4 E6 SUNDAY, Au g u s t 28, 2011 • $1.50 www.v ick sbu rgp Ever y day Si nC E 1883 River’s rush Big Apple empties as Irene closes in Storm blamed for six deaths By The Associated Press Inside Wayne Richards, a DIMCO employee, walks near the bottom of a 990-foot-wide hole left by surging Mississippi River water when a levee broke during the spring. ‘Big ol’ hole’ left in rich farmland after spring flood David Jackson•The Vicksburg Post The illustration shows where the Mississippi River, which normally flows east of Bunches Bend, was able to encroach from the west during spring flooding. 12 feet Mississippi River 990 feet 21 feet 200 feet 84 feet By Danny Barrett Jr. LAKE PROVIDENCE — When the Mississippi River raged out of its banks this spring, along with debris and destruction, it left a giant hole in a levee north of Lake Providence and created a body of water that has taken away acres and acres of once-fertile farmland. “It’s a big ol’ hole in the levee, and it’s a substantial cost to fix it,” said Tap Parker, one of six farmers who produced on 10,000 acres underwater for weeks after an old levee gave way May 12. It’s the $10 million in crops Bunches Bend Bunches Bend Lake Providence A secondary levee protecting 10,000 acres of farmland at Bunches Bend near Lake Providence in East Carroll Parish Vicksburg and about 60 seasonal farm jobs lost to flooding that’s driving a race against time to rebuild the levee — by any means the farmers, including sand deposits The day the old levee broke, May 12. old levee See Breach, Page A2. Vicksburg will be in the national spotlight Tuesday morning, and in the nation’s cash registers a little later in the day. The River City is featured on the latest issue in the U.S. Mint’s America the Beautiful Quarters Program, representing the state of Mississippi. The quarter, which depicts the USS Cairo gunboat and honors the Vicks- burg National Military Park, will be officially put into circulation following the 9:30 a.m. celebration. “Depiction of this historic icon on the quarter emphasizes the crucial importance of control of the Mississippi River to both the Union and the Confederate armies during the American Civil War, the contributions of the U.S. Navy in the Vicksburg Campaign, and Vicksburg’s role as the ultimate turning point of the war,” said Tim Kavanaugh, VNMP chief interpretive ranger. WEATHER DEATHS Today: Partly cloudy; high of 93 Tonight: Clear; low of 65 • Ben Comfort • Richard LaMont Poole Mississippi River: 19.2 feet Fell: 0.1 foot Flood stage: 43 feet A9 VOLUME 129 NUMBER 240 5 SECTIONS A9 See Irene, Page A9. PAUL BARRY•The Vicksburg Post Vicksburg quarter unveiling set for Tuesday at USS Cairo By Pamela Hitchins NAGS HEAD, N.C. — Still menacing Hurricane Irene knocked out power and piers in North Carolina, clobbered Virginia with wind and churned up the coast Saturday to confront cities more accustomed to snowstorms than tropical storms. New York City emptied its streets and subways and waited with an eerie quiet. With most of its • Region lending transassistance/A7 porta• Sports disrupttion machined/B3 ery shut down, the Eastern Seaboard spent the day nervously watching the storm’s march across a swath of the nation inhabited by 65 million people. The hurricane had an enormous wingspan — 500 miles, its outer reaches stretching from the Carolinas to Cape Cod — and packed wind gusts of 115 mph. At least 1.5 million homes and businesses were without power. While it was too early to assess the full threat, Irene was blamed for six deaths. The hurricane stirred up 7-foot waves, and forecasters warned of storm-surge danger on the coasts of Virginia and Delaware, along the Jersey Shore and in New York Harbor and Long Island Sound. In the Northeast, drenched by rain this summer, the ground is already saturated, raising the risk of flooding. Irene made its official land- The USS Cairo was a Union ironclad river gunboat sunk by Confederates in the Yazoo River north of Vicksburg on Dec. 12, 1862. The boat was raised exactly 102 years later, restored and put on permanent display at the VNMP along with many salvaged artifacts. The Vicksburg quarter is the ninth coin in the U.S. Mint’s America the Beautiful Quarters Program, a multiyear initiative which began in 2010 to See Quarter, Page A9. If you go A ceremony in honor of the release of the America the Beautiful Vicksburg quarter will be at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at the USS Cairo at the Vicksburg National Military Park. Parking at the Cairo will not be allowed. VNMP staff will direct visitors to parking on Union Avenue and Confederate Avenue, where shuttle buses will run beginning at 7:15 a.m. Also, a coin forum will be at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the VNMP Visitor Center’s auditorium. Admission to both events is free. For more information, log on to and click on the quarter icon. This week in the civil war • Grant’s rise, a daring proclamation. On Aug. 28, Ulysses S. Grant takes early steps in his ascent to military fame, appointed commander of federal forces for the district of southeastern Missouri at Cairo, Ill., where the Ohio and Mississippi rivers converge. Experienced military officers are in much demand on the Union side early on and Grant will soon be drawing recognition for his ability to fight hard and win battles further west. He will later drive Union victories at Vicksburg and battlefields in Tennessee en route to winning command of the Union army and — years from now — forcing the Confederacy’s surrender in 1865. 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