Archive for the ‘U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Category

Corps of Engineers clarifies firearms rules in light of new carry law

June 19th, 2013 No comments

The Vicksburg District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says federal regulations still prohibit the possession of firearms on Corps property, in light of Mississippi’s new open carry law.

Lawmakers passed last session House Bill 2, which allows firearms to be openly carried without a permit. Firearms cannot be concealed without a concealed carry permit.

In a press release, Corps officials said a 2009 federal law that allows guns in national parks could lead to some confusion. That statute did not include parks governed by the Corps. Violating the Corps’ no-firearms policy is punishable by a fine not to exceed $5,000, six months’ imprisonment, or both.

Exceptions include firearms carried by law enforcement, those being transported between hunting and fishing sites (as long as they’re unloaded), those being used at authorized firing ranges, or carriers who have received written permission from the district commander.

Corps figures say that more than 3 million people visit annually the 262,000-acre recreational areas under the Vicksburg District’s purview. That includes, campgrounds, playgrounds, swimming areas, trails, fishing areas, boat ramps, marinas and marinas. The economic impact of those visitors, the Corps estimates, is $125 million a year, and supported 1,700 jobs.

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood last week issued an opinion on House Bill 2. It said that people who are not a convicted felon can openly carry firearms, except where prohibited. Examples include private businesses that choose not to allow customers to carry, and on certain state and federal property, like Corps installations and courthouses.

Report: Levees prevented $234 billion in damages in 2011 flood

February 25th, 2013 No comments

The levees along the Mississippi River and its backwater tributaries generally did what they were supposed to do during the 2011 flood.

In the process, they prevented $234 billion in damages.

Those were two major takeaways from a pair of documents the Mississippi Valley Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released Monday.

Data collection for The Mississippi River & Tributaries 2011 Post-Flood Report and Room for the River started in August 2011, about two months after the worst of the record-breaking flood, and concluded last December. The 350-page MR&T report documents the levees’ performance during the flood, and recommends ways to re-strengthen and improve the system. Room for the River is a 32-page summary of what the Vicksburg office of the Corps calls “facts, figures and lessons” officials learned during the high-water event.

Both documents can be viewed here.

On the whole, Corps officials said during and after the flood that the levee system – constructed after the 1927 flood whose water-level records the 2011 flood surpassed – did what it was designed to do. These two documents, they say, provide data to validate that claim.

The impact in Mississippi stretched almost the length of the state’s western border, formed by the river. Flooding shuttered casinos in Tunica, closed river operations in Greenville and Vicksburg and inundated farmland in the South Delta along the Yazoo River.