Is that bad?
The last time the Mississippi River was this high for this long, it prompted the federal government to build the modern levee system.They say this year is the most rainwater the river has had to drain ever, or at least since they started measuring 124 years ago. So far, so good, they nervously hope out loud. But there are some items in this story that get your attention.
The river has been in flood stage for months, and on Tuesday, will hit 136 days in flood stage at Baton Rouge, breaking the record set in 1927.
What's more, the river is still in major flood stage and rising, though held in place by the levees. Meteorologists say they expect it will stay in flood stage "well into summer."
The typical formula the Corps uses to predict flood stage doesn't even apply because the water has been so high for so long, Mississippi Valley Watershed Chief Joey Windham said.This is a long time for those levees to hold a sustained flood. There is a danger they could erode in spots as the water recedes. Seepage happens every year but it is something they have to monitor.
Nevertheless, south Louisiana's levees are holding, said Col. Michael Clancy, of the Corps. His New Orleans District has noted more than 200 points of concern, including more serious issues with erosion near Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola and a sand boil in Pointe Coupee Parish.
The article also talks about disruptions in agriculture and construction along the river while it remains in flood. Apparently this doesn't affect the Bourbon Street work scheduled to re-start this week. Back in March, the river stage had prompted a halt to that project. I wonder what is different now.