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.
A report on the structure and operations plan for the Old River Control Structure authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1954 is to be submitted with opportunity for public input and stakeholder engagement, including public meetings.
The Mississippi River is usually low in the fall. But it reached 42 feet at Natchez this month and flooded unharvested crops. It has risen steadily since the 1950’s when the highest fall crest was 28 feet.
Bureaucrats default to the 1928 Mississippi River and Tributaries Project flood control plan even though it causes record floods. They ignore the bottlenecks, declare 900,000 acres flooded inside the levees a non-event, default to dredging and raising levees — and hope no Black Swan (a rare event with extreme consequences) happens on their watch.
The Titanic ran into an iceberg. And sank. The US Army Corps of Engineers has run into a “Mudberg.” And its reputation is sinking. Mudberg is a thirty-foot-high mound of sediments in the Mississippi River above Baton Rouge that restricts its flow. It slows the discharge to the Gulf of what were beneficial short, spring rises on the river. And makes them long, destructive floods.
I testified about flooding on the Mississippi before the Mississippi River Commission in Greenville on April 18, 2018. Readers with properties on the river, its oxbow lakes, and tributaries may be surprised to learn why they flood. It’s the bottlenecks.