Talk:2011 Mississippi River floods

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Memphis urges hundreds to flee ahead of flooding (Friday)[edit]

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42931249/ns/weather/ 99.39.5.103 (talk) 18:38, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

Now evacuations are in the thousands (Saturday)[edit]

(Voice of America.) The flood is expected to beat the 1927 record,[1] and it's going to disrupt huge amounts of food and maybe 13% of U.S. refined petroleum.[2] 99.39.5.103 (talk) 18:28, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Additional precipitation expected[edit]

http://www.weather.gov/forecasts/graphical/sectors/conus.php?element=QPF shows expected additional precipitation.

This forecast map makes specific 48 hour predictions about population centers, but actual observations should make a better illustration for the article. 99.39.5.103 (talk) 03:50, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

More news[edit]

"In Mississippi, ['much'] more than 2,000 residents will have to evacuate as the river continues to rise, said Jeff Rent, director for external affairs for the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.... The flows [prompted] the U.S. government to open a Missouri floodway for the first time since 1937 to relieve pressure. U.S. officials are expected to activate three floodways this year for the first time in history." (Toronto Sun) 99.39.5.103 (talk) 06:15, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

Major course change at Old River Control Structure or nearby location[edit]

Randall the XKCD guy has been speculating on the stress the Mississippi's Old River Control structure will be going through. 68.65.169.170 (talk) 01:35, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Comments on a potential course change represent speculation rather than a description of events that are likely to occur. In 1973, nearly all of the flow being diverted into the Atchafalya River from the Mississippi River was passing through the Low Sill Structure. With the completion of the Auxiliary Structure in 1986 and the Hydropower Plant in 1990, engineers have more options for regulating diversion flows and more importantly, for controlling the head differential at the Low Sill Structure. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.240.40.127 (talk) 03:59, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

I'm the guy that first inserted the course-change issue. Without getting into whether it was originally appropriate or not(obviously I thought so a few days back), I do agree that events have graced us with several dry days instead of more major rainfalls. With the lowering crest estimates coming in, and Morganza only needing to be pressed into service at 21%, I agree it seems time to reduce the emphasis on this possibility. To that end, I suggest someone merge the discussion of the Morganza Spillway into this article, but move the course-change discussion in this article (about the current 2011 flood) to the general article about the Mississippi River. See http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/show.html for lots of good info and images. Any takers? NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 16:04, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

Natchez, Louisiana flood level[edit]

Natchez river gauge (NOAA)

It is currently transitioning to "Major" (57 foot) flood level there, and should beat the 58 foot record by Midnight Tuesday. Is the crest still expected at 64 feet per above? When is that expected if nothing more can be done upstream? 99.39.5.103 (talk) 22:12, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Those are difficult questions because nobody can predict how much the banks and levies being topped over between Memphis and the Old River Control Structure just South of Natchez will erode. If they don't erode, the crest at Natchez will be higher, which would be bad. But if they do, the river could fork North of Louisiana or even change course, which could be worse in the long term, at least economically, even if it doesn't wipe out lots of buildings. And the kinds of erosion which would determine the answer could happen on any topped bank from now until the end of the month, so the uncertainty is huge now.
Here's a AP/Yahoo update. 208.54.5.49 (talk) 17:05, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

As of 15 May 2011, the only Mississippi River and Tributary Project levee threatened by overtopping is the Yazoo Backwater Levee, which protects the Mississippi Delta, north of Vicksburg, MS. A portion of the levee was covered with plastic to control potential erosion. Flow over the levee is expected to increase backwater flooding by about 1 foot. If the levee were to breach, flooding would increase by 10+ feet and spread over 850,000 acres including the towns of Rolling Fork and Cary, MS. See: http://www.mvk.usace.army.mil/flood2011/docs/2011FloodBriefcomplete_05052011.pdf

Note that an old levee outside the MR&T system near Lake Providence, LA, did breach earlier this week. See: http://www.natchezdemocrat.com/2011/05/12/river-tops-abandoned-lake-providence-levee/ and http://www.wrkf.org/batonrouge&newsID=1346 and pictures at: http://www.tigerdroppings.com/rant/p/26046154/Old-Levee-in-Lake-Providence-being-topped.aspx

During major floods, the Old River Control Complex and Morganza spillway are operated to limit flows downstream of the Morganza Spillway to 1,500,000 cfs. The Bonnet Carre spillway is operated to limit flows at New Orleans to 1,250,000 cfs. Levees downsteam of these spillways are designed to safely pass flows. See: http://www.mvd.usace.army.mil/mrc/mrt/Docs/Floodways%20info%20paper.pdf and other descriptions of the MR&T at: http://www.mvd.usace.army.mil/mrc/index.php

If anyone wants to incorporate any of the above information or statements into the article, please do so. (Playing in the sandbox is on my to-do list, but I'm not there yet.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.95.105.75 (talk) 23:38, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

Before and after satellite pictures and more news[edit]

"Mississippi River rise has River Parishes residents worried" NOLA.com May 12, 2011

"'Sacrificial' towns prepare for deliberate flooding" MSNBC May 12, 2011.

http://www.voanews.com/english/news/usa/Mississippi-River-Floods-Threaten-Homes-Farms-Refineries-in-Louisiana-121725894.html 99.39.5.103 (talk) 23:47, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

Coal slurry ponds[edit]

How many coal slurry ponds have been washed away? 99.39.5.103 (talk) 22:32, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

Iowa[edit]

Iowa (especially Davenport) experienced severe flooding from this event too. The crazy storms in the south were frosting on the cake, but the river was flooding anyway from up north. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 216.81.197.249 (talk) 16:37, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

There is still also major flooding in the Dakotas as there has been for at least a week now. 173.8.151.126 (talk) 05:14, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

Three nuclear plants?[edit]

"NUCLEAR FACILITIES AT RISK FROM FLOODS

"* Entergy's (ETR.N) 1,176-megawatt Waterford nuclear plant in St. Charles Parish, Louisiana.

"* Entergy's 978-megawatt River Bend nuclear plant in West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana.

"* Entergy's 1,268-megawatt Grand Gulf nuclear station in Clairborne [sic] County, Mississippi." -- Reuters (May 13, 2011) "FACTBOX-Refiners monitor flood levels along Mississippi" 99.39.5.103 (talk) 23:27, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

Grand Gulf is at least 120 feet above the normal height of the river. River Bend is five iso-elevation lines above the river (that would seem to mean 200 feet, but on the other maps every 200 feet is labeled, why not that map too?)
However, Waterford looks screwed! The Army Corps of Engineers "Scenario 1" (now operative) map seems to suggest that it's going to be under 10-20 feet of water, although it's hard to tell exactly. It's just downstream from Reserve which they are keeping just under the 24 foot "moderate" stage but two feet above the "INDUSTRIAL INTERESTS ALONG THE RIVER...ARE IMPACTED" level. 99.39.5.103 (talk) 00:54, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
Well, this is good news. According to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Power Reactor Status Reports, Waterford was at 0% (shut down) on the 11th, 19% on the 12th, and 51% yesterday. So they must be so sure of its safety with the Morganza Spillway (about to be) open, that they decided to bring it back on line from a refueling shutdown back on April 5th. I'm pretty sure we can rest easy, well, except for the coal slurry being deposited on the flodplains[3][4] And, uh, all the flooding. :( 99.39.5.103 (talk) 02:39, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
River Bend is at 100 ft (see topo map). The river is below 35, so I guess Google's contour lines are at 10-ft intervals too.
—WWoods (talk) 16:45, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

Pre-Morganza news[edit]

I wanted to add http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/World/20110513/mississippi-river-flooding-louisiana-110513/ yesterday but didn't have time.

Also, the Daily Mail brings us "The town that faces being wiped off the map: Flood waters engulf every single home in Mississippi community" re Tunica Cutoff, Mississippi -- if a place that doesn't have an article gets wiped out, is it more or less notable? 99.39.5.103 (talk) 20:52, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

Baton Rouge[edit]

Can anyone confirm that the main Baton Rouge levees are 48 feet per [5]? ("The levees around Baton Rouge, LA, protect to a river stage of 48 feet." -- FEMA, 2008.) It looks like the projections are still headed very close to that stage. Correction: Just as I was fixing up that URL the Baton Rouge projection was changed to top out at 45 feet. Yay! On the other hand, that's still two feet above the "SHIPPING AND INDUSTRIAL ACTIVITIES ARE SIGNIFICANTLY AFFECTED. UNPROTECTED LOW-LYING AREAS WILL BE FLOODED AND AGRICULTURAL OPERATIONS WILL BE IMPACTED ON THE WEST SIDE OF THE RIVER" stage. 99.39.5.103 (talk) 22:02, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

Incorrect statements in article[edit]

The last sentence of the first paragraph reads:

"For the first time in 37 years, the Morganza Spillway has been opened, deliberately flooding 3,000 square miles of rural Louisiana to save most of Baton Rouge and New Orleans[4] but placing ten oil refineries, a nuclear power plant, two pipelines, barge and ship traffic, and petroleum production of 218,000 to 2.4 million barrels per day at risk.[5]"

This run-on sentence is merging two conflicting scenarios. To set the record straight, the opening of the spillway is not to imperil the plants or shipping on the Mississippi, rather it is to prevent inundation from predicted catastrophic flooding. Where the confusion may have stemmed is from the risk to pipelines and shipping in the Atchafalaya Basin Floodway zone. Please research and append article to make sense and to reflect the situation correctly. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.32.163.93 (talk) 02:42, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

As I read [6], those risks were the trade-off of much larger risks involved in doing nothing with the floodgates and letting Baton Rouge and New Orleans flood. Is that not right? I've paired it down from the three nuke plants that Reuters article says are at risk, because two of them are far up on hills according to topographic maps. Please fix it to what you think it should say; just click "edit", change things, and click "preview" then "save" when it looks ready. 99.39.5.103 (talk) 02:52, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

I just removed that part, better to have missing information (about effects in the Atchafalaya Basin) than incorrect statements. --77.2.219.193 (talk) 10:39, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

Casualties need cleaning up.[edit]

Hi. I noticed that the casualty figures in the article focused on the last months cell that caused the tornado outbreak. There were also other causes of the flooding (melting, other storm systems). As such, the flooding may not be (or atleast not soley) related to that particular system. Because of this, I think that the casualty count should exclude the tornado victims, and focus on those who died during the flooding alone. Osamainmyheart (talk) 20:55, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

Disassemble[edit]

Can someone state what this means? It's in the lead paragraph, "14 people were disassembled." The imagery was grotesque in my mind, imagining a river having the power to take humans apart like a machine. Anyway, I looked at the article link, and I couldn't find anything to make it more specific and less confusing. It just says 14 people were killed – it doesn't say they drowned or anything more specific. If that's the case, can we just say "killed" instead of "disassembled."? hbdragon88 (talk) 02:12, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

Atchafalaya River satellite images?[edit]

It seems that thunderstorms kept satellites from getting a clear picture of the new much wider breadth of the Atchafalaya River today.[7][8] 99.39.5.103 (talk) 05:42, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

Correction: this May 15 photograph shows the first four miles (~3 hours?) of spillway flooding. 99.39.5.103 (talk) 00:46, 17 May 2011 (UTC
Here are some before/after aerial photos for an earlier point in time. 99.39.5.103 (talk) 10:06, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
It seems to be filling much slower than predicted (May 18 false color image.) 99.39.5.103 (talk) 22:09, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Here's a nice one of the Bonnet Carre Spillway just starting to drain. (full size, showing an apparently dry Waterford 3 nuke plant and a barge traffic line-up.) 99.39.5.103 (talk) 10:24, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

1973 Mississippi River floods[edit]

The last time the Morganza Spillway was open was in 1973. Also the images File:Morgan City Louisiana Aerial 1973 Flood.gif and File:Pierre Part Flood Mailbox 1973.gif show the 1973 Mississippi River floods. There are other images here (and Category:1973 Louisiana flood). The 2011 Mississippi River floods does refer to the 1973 Mississippi River floods (title?) and the 1973 Mississippi River floods might be ripe for a stand alone article that aids this article if someone is interested. -- Uzma Gamal (talk) 13:44, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

Where is all the water going?[edit]

"After five days" the Morganza spillway is far less flooded than predicted. It's supposed to be 20 miles along the coast on either side of Morgan city by now. Here's what NASA says:

As of May 18, 2011, a total of 17 bays on the spillway had been opened, with an estimated 114,000 cubic feet (3,200 cubic meters) per second flowing out of the Mississippi River and into the floodway. According to temporary gauges placed by the U.S. Geological Survey within the floodway, the water level at Tail Bay (the spillway) was 45.04 feet above sea level as of 3:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time on May 19. Downstream at U.S. Highway 190, the water level was 32.55 feet as of 3:40 p.m. CDT on May 19.
The leading edge of the flood water was about 3 miles (4.5 kilometers) below Krotz Springs, between U.S. Route 190 and Interstate 10 (off the bottom of the image), according to Ricky Boyett, a spokesman for the Army Corps. Arrival at the Atchafalaya River is imminent, though the southward flow of water in the floodway has been slower than projections. The region had been suffering through a significant drought, so the ground and side waterways have been able to absorb more water than originally anticipated.

Firstly, I don't see how that image can be consistent with 32 feet at Highway 190, but can ground absorption explain that too? Dualus (talk) 21:12, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

A lot of this could be an artifact of infrared satellite photography and protruding vegetation. See Wikipedia:RDS#Morganza spillway absorption and flow. Dualus (talk) 00:47, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

Article name[edit]

Should the article be named Mississippi River Flood of 2011 (year last, flood singular and capitalized) to parallel Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, Great Flood of 1951, Great Mississippi and Missouri Rivers Flood of 1993, etc.? --Kkmurray (talk) 01:06, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

Yes, agreed. Another problem with current name: use the singular not plural in article names when possible (flood, not floods). One thing with your suggestion is the capitalization of "Flood". That would be done if the term is a proper noun, which appears to be the case for the "Great Flood" names, but wouldn't be the case for the current 2011 flood, which is not (yet?) a proper noun. Green Cardamom (talk) 15:23, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
Redirected; feel free to move/rename over the redirect. Dualus (talk) 06:51, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

I vote for "Great Mississippi River Flood of 2011". This event is already the flood of record in multiple locations and may break into the top 5 most expensive floods in U.S history even with the flood control system performing as designed. MississippiRiverRat (talk) 00:06, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

some people built levies around their homes[edit]

How about a section about how some people remained and just built massive levies around their homes? Wouldn't this be a nice addition to the article? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1388660/Mississippi-River-flooding-Residents-build-homemade-dams-saves-houses.html Dream Focus 06:16, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

Yes, please. Dualus (talk) 06:55, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

Since people often have days, if not weeks, to prepare for floods on the Lower Mississippi River, creation of small ring levees to protect structures along the fringes of the floodplain or in backwater areas is not an uncommon response, particularly in agricultural areas where farmers have ready access to required equipment and dirt. Ring levees were also constructed during the 1973 flood. Does anyone have good public domain pictures to contribute? MississippiRiverRat (talk) 04:03, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

Historical Wrap-up?[edit]

With the flood six months old and more, anyone up to the task of updating this wiki entry to represent a non-current event? A historical epilogue and synopsis of the event would be nice.

- Bahumat — Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.155.77.76 (talk) 06:05, 16 December 2011 (UTC) agreed. I'd also like to point out that the infobox shows it still continuing, but what end date should be picked?--hacky (talk) 03:20, 14 April 2013 (UTC) - One year after last post here, 3 years after flood -- why didn't the author close this out? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 174.73.22.113 (talk) 21:55, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Sediments[edit]

Some time ago I saw a viedo on the USGS website featuring the sediments which had been delivered to the marshes near the Atchafayalfa mounds, one or two inches, if I remember correctly. That and other results of the use of the Morganza spillway are missing in the article. --Matthiasb (talk) 12:21, 27 September 2012 (UTC)

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