A surge of water not seen since the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 is forecast in coming days to test the enormous levees lining the Mississippi River on its course through the Deep South.
As the water makes its way downriver, the lower portion of the Mississippi will be tested.
The river is forecast to crest at 53.5 feet on May 18 at Vicksburg, Mississippi, a key gauge. That is the highest river stage recorded at Vicksburg since the catastrophic flooding of 1927 when the river reached 56.6 feet and would have kept on rising if levees hadn’t given way, causing massive flooding and killing hundreds.
After that calamity, the nation undertook an aggressive $13billion plan to build levees and floodways that would avert such a scale of flooding again.
The crest of the high river is expected to reach New Orleans on May 22, and the Corps have opened a major spillway, the Bonnet Carre, just north of the city to relieve pressure. Read more: DailyMail.co.uk.
Photo: Barge traffic moves along the channel of the flooded Mississippi River just north of where the
Ohio River joins the Mississippi earlier this week. A surge of water not seen since the Great Flood of 1927
is forecast in coming days. Photo-AP
Coast Guard Closes Stretch of Mississippi
The Coast Guard closed a stretch of the swollen Mississippi to barge traffic upstream Friday in a move that could cause a backup along the mighty river, while police farther south in Memphis went door to door, warning thousands of people to leave before they get swamped.
The Coast Guard closed a five-mile stretch of the Mississippi to protect Caruthersville, Mo., and said barges could be banned for up to eight days. The fear was that the wake from big boats would push water over a floodwall and into the town of 6,700.
Barges regularly move coal, grain, ore, gravel, auto parts and other vital products down the Mississippi. A single barge can carry as much material as 70 tractor-trailers, and some towboats can move 45 barges at once.
Lynn Muench, a vice president of the American Waterways Operators, an industry group, said the eight-day shutdown would have a multimillion-dollar effect on the barge industry and slow the movement of many products.
In Missouri, dozens of National Guardsmen and Highway Patrol members who had been rescuing people from floodwaters had to be rescued themselves after six boats got stuck in low water. Half were rescued before dark, and the others spent the night on a levee, relying on provisions dropped to them by the Guard.
Farther south, parts of the Mississippi Delta began to flood, sending white-tail deer and wild pigs swimming to dry land, submerging yacht clubs and closing floating casinos. From: abcnews.go.com
Photos from Cruisers in Ohio
Some cruisers in Ohio send us these photos of the flooding at their marina.
“We are ok,” wrote Stu Robinson. “but yes the Ohio River Valley is flooded. At the marina they had to put the boats that were on the hard back into the water. At my slip, the normal depth is 13 feet. Now my sounder reads 28 feet! I could motor around the flooded parking if I wanted to.
Photo: Here’s a shot of a wooden boat on the hard in the marina’s boat yard. (well, just barely!)
They moved all other boats back into the water.
In our area, ponds have turned into lakes, lakes have turned to oceans and the ground is totally saturated. The river system and lakes are not to be used during this flooding.” Sent in by Ginny Filiatrault.
May 6, 2011 – MEMPHIS – The rising Mississippi river lapped over downtown Memphis streets on Thursday as a massive wall of water threatened to unleash near record flooding all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. Water lapped over Riverside Drive and onto Beale Street in Memphis, and threatened some homes on Mud Island, a community of about 5,000 residents with a river theme park. The island connects to downtown Memphis by a bridge and causeway.
Officials at the Shelby County Office of Preparedness, that includes Memphis, predicted that the flood could affect 2,832 properties if it crests at 48 feet this coming weekend. A crest of 48 feet would be the river’s highest level since 1937, according to the National Weather Service. The service currently puts the river level at Memphis at 45.21 feet, with an expected rise to 47.6 feet by Monday morning. From Reuters.
Syracuse, NY – The fallout from record storms continued to leave Central New York swamped on Friday, making waterways difficult to navigate and lakes overflow.
New York State announced on Friday that it will delay next week’s opening of the canal system. The delay will keep a lot of boaters out of the water as they depend on the four canals that connect bodies of water throughout the state.
Where the Erie Canal passes through Brewerton, for example, some six docks are still under water. The State Canal Corporation says the levels make it impossible to place buoys and markers along channels to help boaters navigate.
Bob Honcharski had planned to be on his boat and on his way to the St. Lawrence river to spend the next several months on the water.
“But with the water as high as it is, we won’t be able to launch or go up the canal system,” he said.
Honcharski is patient. He recognizes the importance of channel markers to avoid shallow ground that could cause big problems.
“When you’re on a boat, you’re really at the mercy of what’s been laid out for you in terms of navigation, so we’ll wait for them to do the right job and go when it’s safe then,” he said.
At the Brewerton Boat Yard, the season has started slowly, with only a couple of boats along the docks. Most years, the docks are half full by the end of April.
“We’re probably running about two weeks behind schedule due to the high water. We really can’t put all the boats in that we want to,” said Wayne Carroll.
While boaters are anxious to get into the water, others are trying to get away from it. Some of the residents along Oneida Lake are seeing water spill over the seawall and into their homes. From www.9wsyr.com