Monday, May 09, 2011

The Mississippi Nightmare Scenario

By Robert Johnson
As the Mississippi River continues to rise and more residents are forced to evacuate, the great flood of 1927 is on a lot of Southern minds and questions of what's next on just as many lips.
According to reports in the Nashville Tennessean, history could be on the verge of repeating itself. To give a little perspective: in the Great Flood, the levees broke in 145 places, flooded 27,000 square miles in up to 30 feet of water over a stretch of land 100 miles long. At some points more than double the volume of Niagara Falls poured through as levees broke, nine states were affected and 246 people died.
Though modifications have been done on the levee system over the years, failures are occurring now just as before, and towns that sit upstream have already blasted their levees to keep the flood waters at bay. In Vicksburg Mississippi, where the Yazoo River empties into the Mississippi River, current predictions put the river cresting the barriers by more than a foot. There is real concern the strain will prove too much for the dirt levees.
The best officials there can do is to put polyethylene sheets over the levees in efforts to preserve their integrity. Read More