Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Mississippi Delta braces for historic flooding

by Staff Writers
Miami (AFP) May 13, 2011
US authorities were preparing Friday to open up a major floodgate to ease pressure from the swollen Mississippi River hoping to save urban centers from historic flooding as rising waters swept south.

Louisiana's Morganza Spillway could be opened this weekend to stop flood waters from washing into major cities, the US Army Corps of Engineers said, aiming to ease the Mississippi's flow as it heads for the Gulf of Mexico.

"Baton Rouge and New Orleans will flood if we don't open that spillway," retired general Russel Honore, best known for leading the military response to the 2005 Hurricane Katrina disaster, warned on CNN.

Opening the spillway would see waters gush over thousand of acres (hectares) of farmland and rural towns, prompting warnings of flash floods from forecasters and urgent evacuation orders in Louisiana and Mississippi.

The American Red Cross is already readying shelters for thousands of expected evacuees.

But Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said people had time to prepare and pack, adding the Corps had told him the spillway would be opened Saturday, according to the New Orleans Times Picayune newspaper.

"Now is the time to take action. Don't delay. Don't hope something will change," said Jindal, quoted by the New Orleans Times Picayune, adding it would be a slow release of water.

The trigger for the opening, Jindal said, would be when 1.5 million cubic feet (42,00 cubic meters) of water per second was flowing down the Mississippi at Red River Landing -- a point that had nearly been reached with the level at 1.423 million cubic feet Friday.

The river, cresting upstream in Arkansas, is set to eclipse the high water records set in the epochal floods of 1927.

Near its height, the Mississippi town of Vicksburg is expecting a forecasted 57.5-foot (17.5-meter) crest on May 19, topping the 56.2-foot historic crest set 84 years ago this month, National Weather Service data said.

According to flood projections from the Corps, a flood as high as 15 feet (4.57 meters) was set to bear down on the small Louisiana community of Butte La Rose when the spillway is opened.

Despairing resident Pierre Watermeyer told CNN, simply: "It's over with, it's over with."

"It's worse than we thought," resident Kelli Trimm told the news network as the town scrambled to gather belongings and flee.

"It's going to take everything, everything we've got. It's scary. It's going to take out our whole community," she said.

If the Morganza Spillway is not opened in time, the Corps warned earlier this week, flooding reaching as high as 25 feet (7.6 meters) was expected to soak New Orleans.

The worst floods to hit the central United States in more than 70 years have already swallowed up thousands of homes, farms and roads in Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi.

Heavy rains last month filled rivers and creeks already swollen from the melting of a thick winter snow pack, and which are now backing up because the Mississippi is so full.

The American Red Cross said back-to-back disasters over the last two months has prompted it to launch 23 separate relief operations backed by over 7,700 relief workers in 18 states, from North Dakota to the southern coast, and along the eastern seaboard.

Share This Article With Planet Earth DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook

Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
When the Earth Quakes
A world of storm and tempest

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Floods along mighty Mississippi swamp farms, homes
Memphis, Tennessee (AFP) May 10, 2011
The worst floods to hit the central United States in more than 70 years have swallowed up homes, farms and roads after the Mississippi River swelled to six times its normal width. Army engineers on Tuesday patrolled stressed levees in waterlogged Memphis, Tennessee, where the Mississippi - normally about half a mile across - is currently about three miles (4.8 kilometers) wide. Daryl H ... read more

Japan SOS mayor vows to save town near nuclear plant

Tornado damage raises building questions

Quake-hit Japan pottery town picking up pieces

Radioactive ash found in Tokyo sewage plant: reports

US judge sides with Kodak in Apple patent dispute

Silver cycle: New evidence for natural synthesis of silver nanoparticles

NIST super-stable laser shines in minivan experiment

Making strong, tough metallic glass cheaply

First ocean acidification buoy installed off Alaska

Water for Mongolia

Egyptian PM in Ethiopia for Nile talks

Scientists urge ocean drilling observation

Canada PM's Arctic stand 'frosty rhetoric'

States set rules on exploiting Arctic wealth

Antarctic icebergs help the ocean take up carbon dioxide

Change is the order of the day in the Arctic

India's top court imposes ban on 'toxic' pesticide

Drought tolerance in crops: Shutting down the plant's growth inhibition under mild stress

New Strategy Aims to Reduce Agricultural Ammonia

'Liquid smoke' from rice shows potential health benefits

Local tsunami alert after 6.5 quake off Papua New Guinea

US bid to save Louisiana cities from historic flooding

One-eighth of quake-hit Spanish city damaged

Flood waters diverted onto Louisiana towns, farms

Outside View: Kenya mobile banking network

Humanity can and must do more with less

Burkina Faso ruling party says opposition aiming for coup

Chinese army gives rocket launchers, weapons to Sierra Leone

Ancient rock carvings found in Sudan

New method for engineering human tissue regeneration

Indian brides told to put down their mobile phones

Super-healing researcher follows intuition

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement