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The 1993 Mississippi Flood Report.

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Introduction

The 1993 Mississippi Flood Report History The Mississippi river is 3800km in length and flows through ten states. It receives over 100 major tributaries, including the Missouri which joins at St Louis. Its drainage basin covers one-third of the USA and a small part of Canada. Frequent flooding by the Mississippi has created a wide flood plain. The flood plain is 200km wide at its widest point, and consists of fertile silt deposited by the river at times of flood. Even before the area was settled by Europeans, the river flowed above the level of its flood plain and between natural levees. Nineteenth-century Americans considered the Mississippi to untameable and a major flood in 1927 caused 217 deaths. Since then over 300 dams and storage reservoirs have been built, the natural levees have been heightened and strengthened to protect major urban areas. The levee at St Louis is 18km long and 16metres high. ...read more.

Middle

An area larger than the size of the British Isles was affected by the flooding. The Mississippi proved that it had nit been tamed, as it claimed 43 lives and caused billions of pounds worth of damage. # (Above) The Mississippi and Missouri Rivers as they Approach their confluence Above St Louis. The purple shows the flooded area. (Above right) the Mississippi flood before the flood. (Right) the Mississippi during the flood. Effects of the Flood The effects of the flood did not end when the river level began to fall. It took several months for the water to drain off the land. Although the land was covered in fertile silt, the ground was to wet for planting crops. The contents of houses and factories, even if not the buildings themselves, were ruined. Clearing up operations took months and cost millions. ...read more.

Conclusion

In times of flooding it diverts excess water from the Mississippi along a 9km slipway, through 350 small reservoirs, into Lake Pontchartrain, and eventually into the Gulf of Mexico. This has greatly reduced the flood risk at New Orleans and Baton Rouge. 4.Making the course straighter and shorter This method was aimed at trying to get rid of flood water from the river basin as quickly as possible. It was achieved by cutting through narrow necks of several large meanders. Between 1934 and 1945 a 530km stretch of river was shortened by almost 300km. by shortening the distance the gradient and therefore the speed of the river is increased. 5.Strenghtening the levees Levees used to consist only of soil covered by bundles of willow and were venerable to erosion by the river. Now a specially designed barge backs away from the shore laying concrete mattresses, each mattress measuring 25 metres by 8 metres. The process is repeated until the bank from the deepest point of the river to above the flood level. ...read more.

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