Mississippi River flooding has been ongoing for three months or longer in some locations, making it the longest-lasting flood there since the Great Flood of 1927, on the lower Mississippi River. At this point, officials say the Flood Warnings at the lower Mississippi river will continue through at least June 4th. At last check, the Carrollton Gauge at the river was at 16.7 ft. Flood stage is 17 feet. The city of New Orleans is protected to a project height of 20 feet. The river level is making navigation and docking difficult.
For the first time in history, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened parts the Bonnet Carre Spillway on Friday (05/10/2019) for the second time in one year. This came just over a month after the Bonnet Carre Spillway was closed on April 11. Opening the spillway will help the river flow through the area so it doesn’t get backed up. The current flooding is the result of the wettest winter in the Mississippi Valley in the last 124 years. By late May, this will become the longest flood event since 1927 at Red River Landing and Baton Rouge. This is the fifth time the spillway was used in a single decade – the most in its history.
The 1927 Flood
The 1927 flood was referred to as greatest flood in modern history on the lower Mississippi river. It started in January of that year and only ended in May. The National Weather Service said that the 1927 flood happened because persistent excessive rainfall. This massive flood prompted legislation to mitigate and gain control of the river through erection of levees, flood control projects and spillways to alleviate catastrophic flooding, under the passage of the Flood Control Act of 1928, the authority placed with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This flood caused widespread socio-economic impacts inclusive of mass displacement of people living in the inundated areas, primarily indentured farmers and field workers.