Flooding in at least 8 states along the Mississippi River because of ongoing rainfall is the longest it’s been since the Great Flood of 1927, according to the National Weather Service. In some areas flooding has surpassed the 1927 flood levels.
The 1927 Flood was “perhaps the most underrated weather disaster of the century,” according to Weatherwise magazine. It “was the seminal event that led to the federal flood-control program and gave the Army Corps of Engineers the job of controlling the nation’s rivers via the erection of dams, dikes and other measures of flood abatement,” Christopher Burt wrote in Extreme Weather.
The flood covered millions of acres and towns, killing hundreds.
At one point it rose 56.5 feet above flood stage in Tennessee, and caused the the river to expand to 80 miles wide in Arkansas, Burt wrote.
Nearly 100 years later, the Mississippi River is flooding at record-high levels again.
In Vicksburg, Mississippi, the river has remained flooded ever since February 17. The weather service said this is the longest continuous stretch above flood stage since 1927.
In Baton Rouge, the river has been above flood level since early January, according to the National Weather Service. If this stretch continues into June, flooding in Mississippi and Louisiana would break the 1927 record, the Weather Channel says.
The Quad Cities of Iowa and Illinois already surpassed the 1927 record.
Most of the lower Ohio and lower Mississippi River Valleys have received more than 2 feet of rain since January. Some areas received more than 40 inches, according to the Weather Channel.
So far, no deaths have been reported as a result of the Mississippi River flooding.