No End in Sight for Record Midwest Flood Crisis

Recovery is likely to continue all summer.
July 3, 2019

The recovery from spring floods along the Mississippi River is likely to continue all summer as the Lower Mississippi Valley remains in a flood crisis, with streets, homes, businesses, and much more under water. Climate scientists warn that extreme flooding and drought events will make it harder to chart a future along some sections of the river.

Jared Gartman, chief of readiness and contingency operations for the Army Corps of Engineers' Mississippi Valley Division, says most of the Army Corps districts in the basin have broken records for flood duration and roughly 30 levees have been overtopped or breached in the lower basin.

High water along the Mississippi, particularly in the New Orleans district, has exceeded levels seen during the Great Flood of 1927, one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history. Colin Wellenkamp, the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative's executive director, said damages could well exceed $4.3 billion when accounting for the broader basin. That would rival damages from the 2011 flood, which was the most destructive of the past 25 years.


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