Aug 06, 2019

Mississippi Levee System Breaks After Major Flooding

The Mississippi River’s flooding hit Louisiana 

The Mississippi River’s run in flood stage hit Louisiana 211 days before ending

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other agencies are monitoring levees as water levels in the Mississippi River drop. According to The Advocate, the river was in flood stage at Baton Rouge, La. It hit the state 211 days before the flood ended Sunday, Aug. 4. This surpasses the 92-year-old record by 76 days. 

The former record was “The Great Flood of 1927,” which the Memphis Commercial Appeal called “the greatest flood in history.” According to The Advocate, this flood led to an upgrade to the nation’s flood control system. The flood destroyed levee systems in place and flooded 2,700 sq miles of land, which displaced more than 700,000 people in seven states, the U.S. Geological Survey said. 

Baton Rouge’s high water broke multiple levees in Arkansas, Miss., and upper Missouri rivers. 

Levees are placed under stress when they hold water too long, said Gerald Galloway Jr., a research professor and civil engineer at the University of Maryland specializing in water resource policy and disaster resilience.  

"You ask a lot of levees to have water up against for a short period of time and, as the levee is pushed for even longer periods of time, it does, as part of its overall integrity, it is certainly challenged," Galloway said to The Advocate

The levee system has been under daily inspections for months and will remain under inspection as river levels drop; however, they appear to be in good condition, Rene Poche, an Army Corps spokesman in New Orleans said. Poche said “a river decline of 2 to 3 ft per day would be a concern.”