Mississippi River Flooding
We think the Corps should operate the ORCC to increase the discharge as the river rises — and that Congress should authorize this. Now. This would lower flood crests, make floods shorter, and reduce the risk of levee failure — and a course change. It would also reduce batture and backwater flooding and the resulting economic and environmental damage on some 1.5 million acres in Mississippi and Louisiana. Time to change the flood control plan – before it’s too late.
Mississippi River Commission Testimony: Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann in Vicksburg August 2019
Concerns about the detrimental effects occurring in the Mississippi Sound due to the freshwater intrusion from opening the Bonnet Carré Spillway this year coupled with the USACE’s decision to not open the Morganza Floodway prompts Secretary Hosemann to urge the Corps. of Engineers to find alternatives to the current operation.
If there were a Hall of Infamy for Mississippi River Floods, 2019 would certainly be the in the top 1 or 2 of the past century. Thankfully, most of the levee system held so 2019 was perhaps not as dramatic as 1927 but damage was widespread and extensive. Higher water for longer equals higher odds of greater damage and loss in the future.
Since 2016, Bigger Pie (BPF) has warned repeatedly that water reaches the Lower Mississippi River (MSR) faster than it can get out to the Gulf of Mexico (GOM). Isn’t it time to either remove the plugs in the Lower MSR or to open the other drain —Old River Control Structure?
Why is the river so high in July? Why has the MSR from below Natchez to north past Vicksburg been 4-5 ft. higher on average over the past decade during low water months than it was 50 years ago?
2019 will be a record for the last 80 years, possibly in modern times, for flood stage water in the Lower Mississippi River.
The Pumps will pour water out of the Delta’s boot over the levee at Vicksburg onto people below. They will make flooding higher and longer inside the levee. Landowners in the Delta outside the levee will benefit. Landowners inside the levee will suffer. The pumps won’t increase the discharge to the Gulf. They just pass the flood downriver onto someone else. That’s the history of other divisive Corps flood control projects. That’s why the river is full now.