Mississippi flood Case Study (2)

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  • Longest river in the USA - 2340 miles.
  • 4th longest river in the world.
  • 3rd largest drainage basin in the world.
  • Source - Lake Itasca, Minnesota.
  • Mouth - Gulf of Mexaco, New Orleans.
  • Flows through 10 states.
  • 18 million people/50 cities rely on it.
  • Ohio and tennessee rivers rise in the Appalachians, receive heavy rainfall between Jan-May
  • Flood risk increased from snow melt.
  • Lower mississippi has most frequent floods.

Flooding

  • On 12th July 1993, the river St. Louis reached a height of 43 feet.
  • Levees burst as pressure of water became to great.
  • River remained at flood stage at St. Louis for 144 days.
  • 150 levees collapsed.
  • Dams burst, bridges were closed.
  • By mid July 100 tributaries flooded.

Impact

  • 50 people killed
  • 62,000 families evacuated  
  • 55 towns wrecked
  • £12 billion worth of property was destroyed
  • Valuable transport infastructure affected.
  • River traffic halted for several months (oil, cereals, coal could not be transported.)
  • Ground was too wet for planting crops.
  • Insurance claims were high
  • 26,000km sqaured land flooded.
  • Took several months for the water to drain off the land
  • Threat of disease from sewage been washed into waterways
  • Water attracted mosquitoes and rats, led to water borne diseases like Hepatitis.

More flooding.

  • In 2001 the river flooded again.
  • 4,4000 people evacuated and the damage cost £13 million.

Hard engineering management strategies

  • Levees -

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