VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) — Mayors along the Mississippi River say their cities are ready for the rare winter flood taking place in the Mississippi valley after recent storms dumped large amounts of rain.

At a meeting in Vicksburg on Friday, leaders from several Mississippi river cities and the mayor of Vidalia in Louisiana praised the Army Corps of Engineers for its work in shoring up levees and preparing flood-prone spots for the high water.

Longtime Vidalia Mayor Hyram Copeland said cities along the river were working together in a way that he had never seen before.

The Mississippi is forecast to crest next Friday in Vicksburg at 52 feet, which is considered major flood stage. Two days later it is expected to crest in Natchez also at major flood stage.

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