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Mississippi River Flooding

Mighty Mississippi River Bursts Its Banks Forcing Rescues

Despite backbreaking teamwork to sandbag the riverbanks, the Mississippi River broke through an Illinois levee forcing nearly half a dozen people to be rescued by helicopter. However, because the federal government learned from a 1993 flood in the same area and planned for a repeat, the damage could have actually been much worse.

After the 1993 Mississippi flood, President Clinton purchased much of the low-lying land buying out more than 9,000 homeowners. The land was turned into parks and underdeveloped areas creating much less of a risk when the next flood — like this one — occurred.
The buyout plan moved whole communities including Rhineland, MO and Valmeyer, IL. FEMA also spent $1.6 million to move the resident of Elkport (whose population then numbered 80) and razed the remaining buildings. The ones who remained are paying the price today as their town is now completely inundated with water.






The National Weather Service predicts crests in the next few days along the Mississippi River near St. Louis to approach those 1993 levels. In Canton, MO, the river might reach 27.7 feet high, more than 13 feet above the flood stage.

Though 1993 preparations controlled some damage, area residents are still hurting. Reports of raw sewage and farm runoff in floodwaters raise concerns about public health, and some long-time river dwellers are calling it quits. One woman who's 83, said, "I'm not going back after this one." It was the third time she'd been flooded out of her home since 1965.

Given the sheer number of recent weather-related disasters, is emergency response after the fact enough? Do we need more planning like the 1993 buyout to minimize disaster's affect?


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raciccarone raciccarone 8 years
I'm sure this will all be over soon. One way or another.
megnmac megnmac 8 years
Oh yeah, it scares me every time the developers move on to another mass development and say there will be water. But for how long!?!? I'm between Vegas and Phoenix and I'm pretty sure I'm SOL if there's any major distribution problems in the future.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
Oh gees don't get me started on water. It would serve the South West’s best future interest California in particular to halt any future community development unless we learn how to create water or perfect on a mass production scale desalinization. The Colorado River which once used to run into Northern Mexico is now only a mere trickle if that once it reaches our National boarder. California and Arizona have been feuding over water rites to the Colorado River for decades. Owens Valley once home to Owens Lake has been nothing more than a desolate salt flat for decades because of the Los Angeles Aqueduct. If it wasn't for the water diverted from Owens Valley Los Angeles would never have been able to be the metropolis it is today. Generations that grow up post these actions and events take for granted the water at their resource and simply do not appreciate what has been done to provide that water to them.
megnmac megnmac 8 years
Were the areas originally developed b/c the land there was cheaper or b/c the proximity to the river was proximity to commerce? We really are in a mess with bad planning and our attempts to harness mother nature really are never failsafe. I'm always a little worried about running out of water (AZ) and I'm sure people there are always worried about too much. Especially that poor woman who has evacuated 3x!
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
I knew this would evetually happen, there have been reports for the last week and a half.
SugarKat SugarKat 8 years
I went to school in Canton, MO for college in 1996. The college only closed twice in it's very long existence. Once it closed for the Civil War, then it closed in order to become a shelter in 1993 for the Red Cross. I received an e-mail asking to help sandbag and I would be there in an instant if I didn't live in Seattle now...
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
The 1993 buy out was the beginning of a move towards reversing bad city planning. You don't build communities on flood planes. You don't build large two and three story homes on eroding hill and cliff sides no matter how nice the view. City planners really need to start thinking when it comes to what impact the environment will have on future communities. I heard a gentleman on the Today show this morning who's been helping with the sand bag brigades say "we just can't seem to out smart Mother Nature" Well that is the problem to begin with. All of those major rivers which are flooding have been manipulated for commercial transport by locks and damns from the North all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico. Yes I understand flooding is a natural occurrence but by manipulating the natural water shed we've compounded the problem. This is a learning process though and I'm sure better plans are in the works to deal with the situation.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
Gays Mills in WI is moving further inland and to higher ground. There town was severly flooded last August, and was nearly destroyed in this last wave of flooding.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 8 years
I can't imagine coming back to a shattered home.
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