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Mississippi Sues Federal Government Over River Flooding

The suit claims the Old River Control Structure, which prevents the Mississippi River from shifting its course to the shorter Atchafalaya River, is causing flooding and dumping silt on public land. Photo courtesy NASA

The suit claims the Old River Control Structure, which prevents the Mississippi River from shifting its course to the shorter Atchafalaya River, is causing flooding and dumping silt on public land. Photo courtesy NASA Photo by NASA

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The state of Mississippi is suing the federal government for $25 million or more, claiming a dam that keeps the Mississippi River from changing course is harming state land.

The suit was filed Monday in the Court of Federal Claims by Mississippi officials on behalf of three southwestern school districts. It claims the Old River Control Structure, which prevents the Mississippi River from shifting its course to the shorter Atchafalaya ( ah-CHAF'-uh-leye-uh) River, is causing flooding and dumping silt on public land. Without the structure completed in 1964, the Mississippi River could shift course away from Baton Rouge and New Orleans, impacting drinking water, shipping, industrial uses.

Mississippi's lawsuit says increasing flooding and siltation is reducing income from public land to the Wilkinson County, Natchez-Adams and Claiborne County school districts.


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