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Sat May 25, 2019, 04:50 PM

Mississippi River's Morganza Spillway Expected to Open For 3rd Time in History

After the wettest winter in U.S. history took the Mississippi River in March to its 2nd highest flood on record in Louisiana, renewed heavy rains that fell over the past week in the Central Plains and Midwest are expected to cause an even higher crest on the river in early June, forcing the Army Corps of Engineers to open the Morganza Spillway for just the 3rd time in history. The Morganza Spillway, completed in 1954, is one of three flood-control diversion structures on the Mississippi River built in the wake of its catastrophic 1927 flood.

Unrelenting severe weather and flooding rains have plagued the central U.S. since May 17, with widespread 7-day rainfall totals in excess of three inches recorded over much of the Mississippi River watershed. As of midday Friday, an impressive 346 of the 9054 contiguous U.S. NWS/AHPS river gauges were in flood stage. Despite the broad extent of the flooding, most of the crests fell short of all-time record levels, though Bird Creek at Avant, KS, hit 36.52' on Tuesday, beating the record of 32.03' from March 11, 1974.

The most noteworthy crest over Memorial Day weekend is likely to be on the Arkansas River at Fort Smith/Van Buren, Arkansas (metro pop. 300,000), where the river is projected to crest at 41', nineteen feet above flood stage, and well above the prior record of 38.1' from April 16, 1945. The NWS warns that a flood level of 37’--four feet below the forecast flood level--“near catastrophic flooding occurs along the Arkansas River. The port of Fort Smith and nearby businesses are severely flooded. Several residential subdivisions around Fort Smith are flooded. Backwater flooding occurs in the trailer parks next to Lee Creek. This is an extremely dangerous and life-threatening situation.”

Spare a thought for those in the path of these rivers

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Reply Mississippi River's Morganza Spillway Expected to Open For 3rd Time in History (Original post)
malaise May 25 OP
Cattledog May 25 #1

Response to malaise (Original post)

Sat May 25, 2019, 04:54 PM

1. Randy Newman "Louisiana 1927"

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