As the recent Mississippi River flooding continued its way down through the South and threatened communities in Warren County (MS), residents and businesses worked side-by-side to keep Vicksburg and its surrounding areas open for business. Today, as a result of their work, Vicksburg is indeed open for business and demonstrating its "can-do" spirit.
In a Saturday, May 21, news report on Jackson, Miss., CBS affiliate WJTV, Christi Kilroy, Executive Director of the Vicksburg-Warren County (MS) Chamber of Commerce, summed up the resident-business partnership in saving Vicksburg from serious devastation by saying, "We’ve had an amazing story."
According to the report, even if some businesses were forced to close temporarily, the employees were out in the community helping in any way they could.
"They [busnesses and residents] were successful in keeping that corridor open leading to many businesses being able to stay open," explained Kilroy.
ACCE president Mick Fleming also reached out to Kilroy via email to see how the area and the Chamber were faring in the face of flooding. Kilroy responded by saying that Vicksburg is situated high on a bluff over the River, "so much of the residential community has not been directly affected. Unfortunately, some of our poorest neighborhoods and our river-based businesses haven't fared as well."
Despite the flooding that did take place, Kilroy stressed that Vicksburg is certainly open for business. "Our national park, antebellum homes, hotels, other attractions and even two casinos have been able to stay open (by spending hundreds of thousands of their own money to flood-fight) . . . We count our blessings as we had weeks of warning for this flood that we were able to move everyone from harm's way and that we were able to flood fight properties where it made sense," she wrote.
She also praised the work of the organizations involved in flood fighting and assistance by saying they "have been incredible."
"The Corps of Engineers, City, County, United Way, MEMA, FEMA, OSHA, SBA, Americorps, Port Commission, Local Business Community, Schools, Red Cross etc. have had great communication, worked diligently to get out accurate information and to squelch damaging rumors and have been easy to reach when there is a need. They are all to be commended for their work here."
At the end of her message to Fleming, Kilroy declared, "This event is showing once again how resilient Mississippians are. It seems that the harder things get, the brighter Mississippi shines! "
Click here to view the abovementioned local CBS news report, which includes an interview with the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber's Christi Kilroy.