Year in Review: Flood disaster dominates 2011 news
In a normal year, county elections dominate the news coverage. And certainly, with this year’s contest first drawing a crowded field, then making history as voters sent new faces to a number of county offices, election stories drew our attention.
But the local vote–and indeed, every other local issue–was overshadowed by spring’s devastating Mississippi River floods that destroyed hundreds of homes, shut down Tunica’s nine casinos, and put a huge dent in city and county finances.
A rise to 36.29 feet in late March was a portent of things to come. Then on April 25-26, strong winds and nearly seven inches of rain in a 24-hour period brought damages in South Tunica County and flash flooding in and around the town of Tunica and along Verner Rd.
By April 25, Cut-off camp residents had begun a hasty evacuation–over 350 people forced to flee their homes–and casinos were battening down the hatches. All nine resort properties had fallen silent by month’s end.
Program takes flight
It’s a flight no one ever wants to take, but it can be the difference between life and death, according to a representative from the Hospital Wing.
Clint Townsend, speaking to aldermen on behalf of a service that transports patients by helicopter, described a membership program now being offered. The yearly membership will cover transportation costs for an individual or anyone in their household if they need to be flown to an area hospital.
PwC study lists high priority projects
An analysis of Tunica County’s flagging tourism industry by PricewaterhouseCoopers recommends eight high priority projects that could stimulate new visitation to the local core product, casinos and gaming, and to other attractions already in place.
Most of the recommendations depend on private investment or a combination of public and private funds. PwC’s report urges county and state leaders to pursue incentives to developers, including the state’s Tourism Incentive Program, where an update to the program has been proposed.
Group urges citizens to get resumes in
In the interest of promoting “economic/job opportunities,” the Concerned Citizens for a Better Tunica County hosted a workshop on Dec. 26. The session focused on upcoming appointments by the Board of Supervisors.
According to facilitator Marilyn Young, the group became aware of several job opportunities on Thursday, Dec. 22.
“We are just trying to put the word out,” Young said.
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