Mississippi River flooding behind the levee has been a reoccurring event ever since the construction of the levees.
Despite the risks, many people still believe the risk of flooding is worth the reward of beautiful woodland scenes and being close to nature.
Although humans have a much easier time adapting to the floodwaters, wildlife has a much harder time dealing with rising waters.
On Thursday morning, the Bolivar County Sheriff’s Department was contacted about several horses on the levee being struck by vehicles.
Although it is unknown if just one vehicle is to blame, Sheriff Kelvin Williams reminds the public that it is illegal for any vehicles to joy ride on the levee.
“The flood waters had displaced wildlife and residents alike,” Williams said. “Although many people take this opportunity to ride the levee to get a close-up view of deer and other animals, doing so is illegal”
Traffic of residents living on the west side of the levee is expected. Many of these residents have gotten used to dodging horses, cows and other animals while driving to and from their residence. All along the levee, farmers have horses and cows roaming freely to-and-fro across the levee while grazing.
Williams reminds citizens that these animals are the livelihood of farmers and the loss of the animals is a loss of income to the farmer and his family.
With so many residents that live behind the levee leaving their homes, these empty homes become easy pickings for thieves. “We’ve already had reports of property being stolen,” Williams said. “With a lot of traffic from sight-seers, it’s difficult for us to pinpoint those people who have theft on their minds.”
Williams said his agency would be patrolling the levee as much as possible and those who are joy riding on the levee are putting themselves at risk of arrest for trespassing.
“The importance of the levee to the vitality of the Delta by preventing flooding can’t be overstated. Unnecessary traffic on the levee, especially during times of flooding, can weaken the integrity of the levee and cause potential catastrophic problems,” Williams said. “We will do everything in our power to protect the property of residents living behind the levee as well as the wildlife who share the same living space.
Anyone with information regarding recent thefts in and around the levee area, as well as information regarding animals being struck by vehicles, can contact the Bolivar County Sheriff’s Department at (662) 843-5378.