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.
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.
The engineering answer is simple. The politics aren’t. Here’s the story.
I think everyone here knows the Mississippi is flooding more. But you might be surprised to know that it’s the worst in 400 years. And that most of it is due to flood control projects. That’s right, flood control causes flooding. According to research published in Nature this month.
There is a flood arms race. It could end in disaster. It’s between the US Army Corps of Engineers and the Mississippi River.
What would happen if the Mississippi River changed its coarse to the Atchafalaya? Dr. Xu’s poster gives an in-depth look at the MS River’s history, likelihood of a coarse change and the consequences.