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Posts Tagged ‘Mississippi River flooding satellite image’

Mississippi River Flooding – Recent Images

Posted by feww on May 21, 2011

Mississippi River ‘Unsafe’ to Navigate

U.S. Coast Guard shut down a 5-mile stretch of the river (from mile marker 232 to 237) after at least five vessels got out of control with three of the barges carrying corn (and wheat) sinking and the other two, carrying sulfuric acid and other chemicals, taking on water.

Earlier in the week, the area was closed for hours after 25 barges under tow broke loose, and five hit US 190, the old Mississippi River Bridge, reports said.

Mississippi River: Current High Water Flows [May 20, 2011 @ 07:00 CDT]


Source: Army Corps of Engineers. Click image to enlarge.

Morganza Floodway Day 5 of Flow


Floodwater spread  about 20 miles (32km) across the Louisiana five days after the Army Engineers opened 17 floodgates  on Morganza Spillway. About 114,000 cubic feet per second (3,200 m³s-1) per second was flowing out of the Mississippi River through the floodway on May 18 when
ASTER on NASA’s Terra satellite took this false-color image. Source: NASA-EO. Click image to enlarge.   Download largest  image (4 MB, JPEG) 

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Vicksburg, Mississippi Faces Flood Invasion

Posted by feww on May 17, 2011

Water level at Vicksburg 5 inches above the 1927 record of 56.2 feet

The river in Vicksburg is forecast to crest at 57.5 feet, 14.5 feet above flood level,  by Thursday.

About 2.3 million acres of land have already been  inundated in central Mississippi, according to FIRE-EARTH estimates, which are based on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers data.


An aerial view of the Vicksburg Harbor, which is located on an arm of the Mississippi River at Vicksburg, Mississippi, USA. The harbor is located north of the main part of the city. View is to the west-northwest. Date: 20 April 1999. Source:  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Siege of a different kind

Vicksburg (pop: 26,410) was the scene of a 47-day Union army siege in 1863 when Major General Ulysses S. Grant’s Union army finally forced its surrender on July 4.

In 1894, Coca-Cola was first bottled in Vicksburg by a local confectioner, Joseph Biedenharn.

Thousands of Mississippi and Louisiana residents have already evacuated, and thousands more will evacuate, as a silent tsunami on moves south through Mississippi and Louisiana.

Upstream, the swollen Mississippi River has already inundated hundreds of homes and millions of acres of farmland across 5 states: (Southern) Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee and Arkansas.

Morganza Floodway Opens – Satellite Image


On May 14, 2011, the U.S. Army Engineers opened the Morganza Floodway to relieve the pressure  along the Mississippi River in Louisiana. A day later, at 11:20 am CDT, ALI on NASA’s EO-1 satellite captured this photo-like  image of the Floodway. Source: NASA-EO. Click Image to enlarge.
Download largest image (4 MB, JPEG) 


This aerial photo was taken by the Army Engineers on May 14, shortly after water was released through the floodgates of Morganza Spillway. Source: NASA-EO


Aerial photo was taken by the Army Engineers on May 14, several hours after water was released through the floodgates of Morganza Spillway. Source: The Army Engineers.

Key Details (from previous posts)

  • Army Engineers Quote of the Day: “It’s a historic day, not only for the entire Mississippi River, but for the state of Louisiana.” ~ Corps spokesman Col Ed Fleming.
  • The Mississippi and its tributaries have extensively flooded large areas upstream
  • At least 3 million acres of cropland in Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas have already been inundated as the tsunami of floodwaters on the Mississippi raged south.
  • The Morganza Spillway is located 45 miles NW Baton Rouge.
  • Morganza Floodway was Built in 1954 to relieve flood pressure on Mississippi River
  • The giant structure is 20 miles long, with 125 gates which could release up to 600,000 cubic feet of water per second (cfps) or 17,000,000 liters/sec
  • A single gate releases about 10,000 cfpc
  • Raging Mississippi River forced Morganza floodgate to be opened for the first time since 1973.
  • About 25,000 people and more than 10,000 buildings may be affected by intentional flooding.
  • About 3,000 sq miles of low-lying swamp and cropland are expected to be submerged under up to 20 ft of floodwater for several weeks
  • Army Engineers say if the spillway was not opened, New Orleans could be inundated by 20ft of floodwater.
  • Morganza was the third of the Mississippi River floodways to be opened this month (the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway and the Bonnet Carre Spillway were opened earlier in May.)
  • “Today’s the first day in the history of our nation that we have had three floodways open.” Col Fleming said.
  • Today’s the first major alarm day in our history that we were forced to have three floodways opened simultaneously: FIRE-EARTH
  • Louisiana’s Cajun country is expected to be inundated by up to 20ft as  floodwater moves south.
  • A video of the opening of the Morganza Floodway is posted online here.

Morganza Floodway Travel Times


Click image to enlarge. Click HERE to view the original size. Source: The Army Corps of Engineers. [Note:  The image is dated May 12, 2011. The travel times should be adjusted accordingly]

Potential Inundation Map (Scenario 1a)


Click image to enlarge. Click HERE to view the original size. Source: The Army Corps of Engineers. [See inset for details.]

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Louisiana Braces as Morganza Floodway Opens

Posted by feww on May 15, 2011

Mississippi River Genie Out of  Spillway?

Floodwater rising upstream in Vicksburg neighborhoods at 2 ft per hr

Army Engineers opened one of the 125 floodgates at the Morganza Spillway 45 miles NW of Baton Rouge on Saturday, inundating nearby fields.

About 3,000 sq miles of low-lying swamp and cropland are expected to be submerged under up to 20 ft of floodwater released through the spillway.


Morganza Floodway moments after one of its 125 floodgates were opened on Saturday. Frame grab from an official (?) video.

Mississippi River Floodways


Source: Mississippi River Commission Map

Key Details:

  • Army Engineers Quote of the Day: “It’s a historic day, not only for the entire Mississippi River, but for the state of Louisiana.” ~ Corps spokesman Col Ed Fleming.
  • The Mississippi and its tributaries have extensively flooded large areas upstream
  • At least 3 million acres of cropland in Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas have already been inundated as the tsunami of floodwaters on the Mississippi raged south.
  • The Morganza Spillway is located 45 miles NW Baton Rouge.
  • Morganza Floodway was Built in 1954 to relieve flood pressure on Mississippi River
  • The giant structure is 20 miles long, with 125 gates which could release up to 600,000 cubic feet of water per second (cfps) or 17,000,000 liters/sec
  • A single gate releases about 10,000 cfpc
  • Raging Mississippi River forced Morganza floodgate to be opened for the first time since 1973.
  • About 25,000 people and more than 10,000 buildings may be affected by intentional flooding.
  • About 3,000 sq miles of low-lying swamp and cropland are expected to be submerged under up to 20 ft of floodwater for several weeks
  • Army Engineers say if the spillway was not opened, New Orleans could be inundated by 20ft of floodwater.
  • Morganza was the third of the Mississippi River floodways to be opened this month (the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway and the Bonnet Carre Spillway were opened earlier in May.)
  • “Today’s the first day in the history of our nation that we have had three floodways open.” Col Fleming said.
  • Today’s the first major alarm day in our history that we were forced to have three floodways opened simultaneously: FIRE-EARTH
  • Louisiana’s Cajun country is expected to be inundated by up to 20ft as  floodwater moves south.

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Mississippi River Flooding: Morganza Floodway to open Saturday

Posted by feww on May 14, 2011

From a source of life to … in 150 years

Engineers to open key floodway to avert flooding in Baton Rouge and New Orleans

Louisiana state officials have confirmed that the Army Engineers would open the Morganza Spillway by early Saturday evening (CDT), a report said.

The move is intended to avert flooding in Louisiana’s two largest cities, Baton Rouge and New Orleans; however, it could inundate  many thousands of homes and large tracts of crops.

Flooding in Atchafalaya basin is expected to exceed20 feet, affecting about 25,000 people, more than 10,000 buildings and up to 20,000 acres of cropland.

Mississippi River


The largest river in North America, the Mississippi River flows 2,340 mi (3,765 km) from its source at Lake Itasca in the Minnesota North Woods, through the midcontinental United States, the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Plain, and the Louisiana Delta. “’Mississippi’ is an Ojibwa (Chippewa) word meaning great river or gathering of waters—an appropriate name because the river basin, or watershed, extends from the Allegheny Mountains in the eastern United States to the Rocky Mountains, including all or parts of 31 states and 2 Canadian provinces. The river basin measures 1.85 million mi2 (4.76 million km2), covering about 40 percent of the United States and about one-eighth of North America.” Mississippi River has the world’s third largest watershed area and seventh average discharge rate. Source: USGS

Morganza Spillway – Satellite Images


Flooded Morganza Spillway.  May5, 1973. Click image to enlarge. Download largest image (2 MB, JPEG)

False color images using near-infrared, red, and green wavelengths. The top image taken by Landsat 1;  bottom image from Landsat 2.  Source: NASA-EO


Morganza Spillway area Sans flooding, 1977. Click image to enlarge. Download largest image (2 MB, JPEG)

Atchafalaya River is forecast to  crest at between 12 and 13 feet at Morgan City on May 23,  if the floodway is opened, breaking a previous record crest  10.6 feet, which was in 1973, a report said.

“They’ve still not officially made a decision on whether or when they will open the spillway, but the Corps of Engineers did tell me today that there are at 1.423 million cubic feet per second at Red River Landing and they are likely to get to 1.5 (million cubic feet) by [Saturday] evening and they will operate that system so that they will not allow that flow to exceed 1.5 through the Baton Rouge area,” Jindal said.

“The decision to open the Morganza Floodway relies on current and projected river flows and levee conditions, river currents and potential effects on navigation and revetments, extended rain and stage forecasts, and the duration of high river stages. When river flows at the Red River Landing are predicted to reach 1.5 million cubic feet per second and rising, the Corps considers opening the Morganza Floodway.” The Army Corps said.  The Army Engineers said the flow rates were 1.449 million cubic feet per second at 7:00am CDT on Friday, May 13, 2011.

Mississippi River Commission Map


Click images to enlarge.

Lower Mississippi Valley Division and  Mississippi River Commission Map

Mississippi River Floodways

 Morganza Floodway


Morganza floodway as a substitute for the East Atchafalaya floodway that was originally planned for in the 1928 Flood Control Act. Governed by a 3,900-foot long and a 125-bay intake structure, the floodway is designed to divert 600,000 cfs from the Mississippi River during the project design flood. The Morganza floodway is operated when the Mississippi River flows below Morganza are projected to exceed 1,500,000 cfs, thereby assuring that flows between Morganza and Bonnet Carré remain at or below 1,500,000 cfs. The Morganza floodway, completed in 1953, has only been operated during the 1973 flood. Source: The MR & T Flooways Project – Mississippi River Commission 1973 .

Estimated Cost of Damage: $5billion [FIRE-EARTH estimate, as of posting]

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Mississippi River Still Rising

Posted by feww on May 9, 2011

Worst flood disaster in the Mississippi watershed since 1927?

Memphis braces for the highest Mississippi River crest in 74 years

By now it must have dawned on many that the extreme weather events and disasters occurring since about 2008 are parts of a bigger picture!

“Right now the Mississippi River is in the process of going through what we call an epic flood, meaning it’s more than historic; it’s more than a 100-year flood; it’s more like a 500 year flood.” Gene Rench of the National Weather Service said.

In the Mississippi flood of 1927 , one of the biggest disasters in US history, affecting about 24,000 square miles, up to 1,000 people perished and more than 600,000 were left homeless.

Water continued rising along the Mississippi River on May 8


Severe flooding along Mississippi floodplain south of New-Madrid Floodway. The largest in the country, the Mississippi River watershed drains more than 41 percent of the continental United States including all or parts of 31 states. Image taken by MODIS on NASA’s Terra satellite on May 8, 2011. Click image to enlarge. Image Source: NASA-EO. Download largest  image (9 MB, JPEG).

More details of flooding

  • The tsunami of floodwater is moving at about 10MPH (16km/h)
  • Tens of thousands more people may have to evacuate their homes along the Mississippi River
  • Mississippi is expected to crest in Osceola, Arkansas, in a few hours time (early Monday)
  • In Memphis the river is expected to crest above 48 feet on Tuesday
  • Police in Memphis have issued evacuation warnings to about 3,000 homes
  • Shelby County residents are warned to be prepared to evacuate at short notice
  • Record crests are forecast for Vicksburg (May 19) and Natchez (May 21)
  • Missouri floodway has been opened for the first in 74 year to reduce flood pressure
  • Bonnet Carre Spillway north of New Orleans is due to be opened later today to divert some of the flow to Lake Pontchartrain
  • Morganza spillway may have to be opened to divert floodwater to Atchafalaya Basin, the largest swamp in the U.S.
  • The flooding is expected to dwarf previous records set in 1927 and 1937, when the Lower Mississippi flooded to 80 miles wide in some areas.
  • The flooding is a “midterm dividend” of climate change: Higher than normal snowfall in the winter, and above normal rainfall this spring.
  • Residents of Olive Branch, Illinois,  evacuated their homes as flooding hit the town.
  • In Kentucky up to 10,000 people have already evacuated their homes.

River Forecast Centers


Click image to enter RFC portal.

*****ALERT: Major Flooding Forecast on Mainstem Mississippi and Lower Ohio Rivers*****

On March 1, 2011, FIRE-EARTH forecast

U-S Attacked by Continued Severe Weather

Brace for the Worst Ever!  Climatic  Extremes, Primeval Geophysical Activities and WILD Weather to Wreak Mega Havoc in 2011/2012 and Beyond…

NOW IS THE PERFECT TIME TO POWER DOWN AND START THINKING HARD.  Encourage your folks, friends and neighbors to join in!! BECAUSE  for most of us the GAME would be OVER soon.

Flooding and fires, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, deadly tornadoes and strong storms … are just some of the items you’ve ordered from the climate change quick menu!

From 2011 Disaster Calendar – May

  • Day 493 [May 8, 2011]

    • Quebec, Canada. The worst flooding in Quebec in 150 years has destroyed or damaged at least 3,000 homes, leaving about 2,800 people homeless.
      • “People are getting around in canoes, rowboats and watercraft, with the water so high it has left some houses half-submerged.”
      • Lake Champlain has risen to a record 103.26 feet above sea level, the U.S. National Weather Service reported.  Flood stage is 100 feet!
    • Arkansas, USA.  Severe flooding in parts of Arkansas will have a “serious and long-term economic impact” on the state, Gov Beebe has said.
      •  “There’s going to be an agricultural impact … problem with aid or assistance on agricultural losses is that traditionally the … Department of Agriculture is a couple of years behind, time-wise, on those kinds of assessments, so you’ve got a tough period to go through for those farmers,” he said.
      • “Economically on agriculture it’s going to be very difficult, and devastating for some.”
    • Vermont, USA.  Hundreds of homes have been destroyed or damaged as a result of lake Lake Champlain flooding, a report said.
    • USA. Thousands of people living along the Mississippi River have evacuated their homes in at least six states as the rising river continues to top all  previous levels.
  • Day 494 [May 9, 2011]

    • Manitoba, Canada.  Brandon city council has declared a state of emergency was the Assinibione River continues to rise.
    • Arkansas, USA. Gov Beebe has declared 63 of Arkansas’ 75 counties as disaster areas following the recent storms and flooding, which have claimed more than 2 dozen lives, reports say.
    • Mississippi, USA. The W.H. has declared as disaster areas 11 counties in Mississippi, where   Mimajor flooding is expected, reports say.


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Floods near Memphis force evacuations

Posted by feww on May 7, 2011

Epic flooding caused by huge  amounts of rain and snow melt has submerged large areas from Canada and northern US all the way to the Gulf of Mexico

The Dakotas, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Kentucky, Arkansas and Tennessee, and soon Mississippi and Louisiana, are inundated with record  floods.


Flooding at Naval Support Activity in Mid-South in Millington, Tennessee, May 2, 2011. Source: US Govt.

“The flood is rolling down, it is breaking records as it moves down and it is one of those wait-and-see type of things as to how massive it is going to be when it’s all said and done,” said Charles Camillo, historian for the Mississippi River Commission.

Mississippi River at Major Flood Stage and Rising


Click images to enlarge.
Download largest  image (7 MB, JPEG) acquired May 6, 2011


Mississippi River is in major flood stage and continues rising. The water level reached 46.68 feet (14.23 meters) at Osceola, Arkansas, and 46.14 feet (14.06 meters) at Memphis, Tennessee on May 6, 2011,  AHPS said. The two images were taken by MODIS on NASA’s Aqua satellite on May 6, 2011 (TOP), and May 6, 2010 (BOTTOM).   Download largest image (9 MB, JPEG). Source: NASA-EO

Significant River Flood Outlook


Click image to enlarge.

Continued flooding, high danger of wildfires expected this weekend


US River Flood Maps


Near Flood Stage.

Examples of current and expected flood conditions (Source: NWS/CRH)

  • Souris River at Foxholm, N.D. – stage is 15.06 feet, holding steady since May 3, forecast to stay at 15 feet through May 9
  • James River at Kensal, N.D. – crested at 13.67 feet May 3 (Major Flood); record stage is 14.7 feet set April 28, 2009
  • James River in South Dakota – crested at 20.05 feet May 3; record crest is 20.1 feet set March 29, 2010; crested at Major Stage at Columbia, Stratford, Ashton, Redfield, Huron, Forestburg, Mitchell, Scotland and Yankton
  • Ohio River at Paducah, KY — record stage is 60.6 feet, major flood stage is 52 feet; forecast is for the Ohio to crest at 55.5 feet Saturday May 7
  • Ohio River at Cairo, IL – the Ohio crested at a record 61.72 feet May 2 and dropped immediately after the levee was breached to reduce flooding in Cairo, Ill.; forecast to drop below record stage tonight and continue a slow fall to normal levels
  • St. Francis River at Fisk, MO – record stage is 28 feet, the river crested at 27.1 feet Tuesday afternoon May 3; forecast is to drop below Major stage (26′) today, drop below moderate stage (22′) May 8 and drop below flood stage (18′) May 10
  • Mississippi River at New Madrid – record stage was 48 feet, measured at 48.35 feet at 9 a.m. CDT today and is still climbing; forecast to crest Saturday at 50 feet then begin a slow fall
  • Mississippi River at Caruthersville, MO (bootheel) – river passed old record of 46 feet early morning of Wednesday, May 4, measured at 47.56 feet at 8 a.m. CDT today; forecast to crest at 49.5 feet Sunday May 8
  • Mississippi River at Tiptonville, TN – old record stage was 47.8 feet. Reading topped old record late morning of Wednesday May 4, measured at 48.35 feet at 8 a.m. CDT today; forecast to crest at 51.7 feet morning of Sunday May 8
  • Mississippi River at Memphis – major flood stage is 46 feet, measured at 45.92 feet at 8 a.m. CDT today; forecast to crest at 47.6 feet morning of May 9 at second-highest level ever. Record stage is 48.7 feet set Feb. 10, 1937; second-highest stage is 45.8 feet set April 23, 1927

On March 1, 2011, FIRE-EARTH forecast

U-S Attacked by Continued Severe Weather

Brace for the Worst Ever!  Climatic  Extremes, Primeval Geophysical Activities and WILD Weather to Wreak Mega Havoc in 2011/2012 and Beyond…

NOW IS THE PERFECT TIME TO POWER DOWN AND START THINKING HARD.  Encourage your folks, friends and neighbors to join in!! BECAUSE  for most of us the game would be OVER soon.

Flooding and fires, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, deadly tornadoes and strong storms … are just some of the items you’ve ordered from the climate change quick menu!

Related Links

Global Mega Disasters

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Mississippi, Ohio Rivers Still Rising; Cairo Evacuated

Posted by feww on May 1, 2011

Army Corps of Engineers on standby to blow a hole in Birds Point levee in Missouri

A “sand boil,” an area of excessive water seepage pushing through the ground, has become dangerously large, as the Corps closely monitors rising river levels, expected to crest, surpassing the 60 feet mark by Tuesday.

“That’s not just putting pressure here in Cairo, but the entire system is being put under pressure,” Corps commander said. “This is going to be the biggest amount of stress that these levees have been put under since we started the construction in 1928.”

Blowing up the levee would flood at least 130,000 acres of Missouri farmland, causing severe damage. On the other hand, towns in Illinois and Kentucky could be flooded if the levee were not blown up.

Both the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers have been rising following days of rain which have added to the water levels from the considerably-heavier-than-usual ongoing spring flooding. The city of Cairo (population: 2,800) sits at the confluence of two rivers.


Small city of Cairo (at center of this astronaut photo) sits at the confluence of Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. “Flooding of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers presents a continual danger to the city; this danger is lessened by the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway that begins directly to the south of the river confluence. During major flood events, the floodway lessens flood stages upstream (such as at Cairo) and adjacent to the floodway. Part of the extensive levee system associated with flood control of the Mississippi River is visible in the image. Barlow Bottoms (image right), located in adjacent Kentucky, is a wetland bird-watching location that is replenished by periodic floods and releases of Ohio River water.” Astronaut photograph ISS012-E-15035 was acquired January 12, 2006. Source: NASA-EO.  Download large image (583 KB, JPEG) 

Current Warnings/ Watches

Flooding along Ohio and Mississippi Rivers


Flood conditions along Wabash, Ohio, Black, and Mississippi Rivers are much worse in April 2011 than a year earlier. MODIS on NASA’s Terra satellite took these false-color images on April 28, 2011 (top), and April 29, 2010 (bottom). Source: NASA-EO

U-S Flood Map


As of posting, 51 river gauges are reporting major flooding, 80 gauges moderate flooding, 125 gauges minor flooding, and 202 are at near flood stage, as shown in the AHPS map above. Floods are wreaking havoc in the U.S. Midwest, South and the Northeast.

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