The Mississippi River continues to rise, so much so that its tributaries are starting to flow backwards. At Tom Lee Park, preps for Memphis in May continue knowing that the worst is still yet to come.
It’s a site not often seen; the Wolf River and Nonconnah Creek are flowing backwards. The swelling river cannot take on much more water. The tributaries flowing backwards are a big problem for the adjacent communities.
“Right now the Mississippi river is in the process of going through what we call an epic flood, meaning it’s more than historic, it’s more than a 100 year flood, it’s more like a 500 year flood,” Gene Rench with the National Weather Service said. “We could flood many homes, businesses, close down factories, people could drown.“
The river is more than two feet past flood stage; it rose two feet in the 24 hours following the storms. It’s expected to crest at 45 feet around May 10th, right when Barbecue Festival teams are setting up their tents.
The Army Corps of Engineers is trying to out smart it by shutting down the Tennessee River and closing all other tributaries and dams that feed into the Mississippi.
As the Mississippi River rises to near-record levels, Tunica’s nine casinos will shut down indefinitely, displacing about 10,000 workers and costing millions in lost dollars. The closure orders were issued Wednesday to ensure the safety of visitors and workers. All visitors must be off the property by 2 p.m. on the designated day. This anticipated closing schedule is based on current forecasts and is subject to change based on weather conditions. (MyFoxMemphis)
There were temporary river waterfalls where the Mississippi ran backwards during 1811-12 earthquakes. It happened early on Feb. 7, 1812, when a thrust fault created a sudden dam several feet high in the bottom of the river loop near New Madrid. The main section involved was from island 10 northward about 10 miles to island 8. It lasted for a few hours, though the new dams/waterfallslasted for a few DAYS, and ruined several flatboats. (ShowMe)
The ground and waterways from Arkansas to the Ohio Valley simply cannot handle any more rain. Flooding problems are sure to either be renewed or worsen into Tuesday.
Residents in low-lying, poor drainage and urban areas can expect the return of flood waters. Small streams that may have receded during the recent brief dry spell should once again overflow their banks. Flooding along already swollen large rivers will worsen, heightening the potential for more levees to fail.
“The stress on the levees in some locations will not only last days, but weeks, as huge rivers such as the Mississippi and Ohio take much longer to fall below flood stage than smaller rivers, even as heavy rain comes to an end,” stated AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.
Many of the larger rivers are already at moderate to major flood stage from Indiana to northeastern Arkansas. This includes the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. The level of the Ohio River at Cairo, Ill., continues to rise and is less than 0.4 of a foot of equaling the record mark of 59.5 feet. The Black River at Corning, Ark., shattered its previous record crest of 16.92 feet from June 1945 when the river rose to 18.12 feet on Thursday. The level of the river dropped to under 17 feet on Saturday, but should rise once again with the impending rain.
There is one positive aspect to the upcoming rain event. A bit of the rain will extend back to the Texas panhandle, gracing some wildfire-ravaged areas. (AccuWeather)
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