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Profile 2020: Heroes of the Flood publishing this month

Last July 3, I jumped in Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace’s truck to ride out to Eagle Lake and see first-hand the damage and devastation caused by the 2019 Yazoo Backwater Area Flood.

Having just moved to the area, it was hard to imagine that the 60-minute drive usually was only half that, before MS 465 and other roads were not submerged in water and closed due to the flood.

Once at Eagle Lake, we jumped in the sheriff department’s boat and rode through streets in the Eagle Lake community.

We passed by floating gas tanks, dead wildlife and a multitude of household items drifting through the water when we came across a home on one of the main drags in the Eagle Lake community.

Even as the water stood against the side of the home, lapping what looked to be about halfway up the height of the two-car garage and dancing below the ragged and discolored watermark caused by damage when flood levels were higher, the home was beautiful.

Chris Libbey, assistant chief of the Eagle Lake Volunteer Fire Department, stood on the second-story porch and spoke to us as we passed by.

Libbey was one of the residents who chose to stay at his home and in Eagle Lake after the mandatory evacuation was announced for the community, protecting his home and his family’s and neighbors’ community.

After hearing a little of his story that day, I was inspired by the way he gave back and provided to his community. I came back to our newsroom with the idea of featuring him in a story.

One idea led to another, and as we thought of more and more individuals who  stood up and made a positive impact during the natural disaster, we ended up with our Profile 2020 theme: “Heroes of the Flood.”

Libbey is one of the many individuals highlighted in our annual publication, along with Earl Wallace, Pace, Warren County Emergency Management Director John Elfer, Victoria Darden, Paul and Linda Banchetti, Warren County Sheriff’s deputies who patrolled the lake, Drew Smith, Peter Nimrod, Marty Pope, among others.

Profile 2020: Heroes of the Flood will be published in our Weekend edition, Feb. 29-March 1. It has been our honor to have the opportunity to publish the stories of these community heroes who stood up in the face of the 2019 natural disaster of the Yazoo Backwater Flood.

Catherine Boone Hadaway is publisher of The Vicksburg Post. She can be reached at catherine.hadaway@vicksburgpost.com.

About Catherine Hadaway

Catherine Hadaway, as The Vicksburg Post’s publisher, oversees the business operations of the newspaper. She is a native of Tuscaloosa, Ala. and is a graduate of Rhodes College in Memphis where she earned bachelor’s degrees in Business and Religion. She is a Director of Boone Newspapers, Inc., the family company that owns The Post. Catherine comes from a long line of newspaper publishers, starting with her grandfather, Buford Boone, who served as publisher of The Tuscaloosa News and earned journalism's highest honor when he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1957 for his editorial titled "What a Price for Peace." Catherine is a member of The Rotary Club of Vicksburg, Vicksburg Young Professionals, The Heritage Guild and The Vicksburg Warren County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

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