Posts Tagged ‘memphis flooding’

The Mississippi River Flood: How bad could it get?

Friday, May 13th, 2011

Author: Dr. Lloyd Blanchard, Director of Public Performance Management, IEM

By now, many Americans are aware of the major flooding of the Mississippi River. The river’s water level is reaching record heights not seen since the 1920s and 30s. How bad is it? This blog post tries to answer this question for the lay reader. In short, it’s very bad.

The news to date has been dominated by the flooding in Memphis, TN, where the nation’s largest river crested at nearly 48 feet on Tuesday, May 10. What does this mean? The level at which the river begins to flow over its bank, but not flood any buildings, is 28 feet. This is called the “action” stage by flood experts. The “flood” stage is the level above which life and property are threatened. At Memphis, the river’s flood stage is 34 feet. We are well beyond this. Damages will be severe. (more…)