A Flood Season of Historic Proportions

Flood protectionAfter flooding this spring in the Mississippi Valley, residents of some towns were leaving their hometowns in droves, while others in higher areas were not as affected. If you take a look at NYP’s flood risk map, you can see that the USA is experiencing a flood season of epic proportions.

Hundreds seeking a higher place to live were fleeing the town with a low elevation of Vidalia, Louisiana, with many of them moving to higher ground nearby in Natchez, Mississippi. Many filled moving vans and other vehicles with furniture, and even tractors and combines from the farming community in Louisiana. Not long ago, the farming equipment was used in cotton and corn fields in Vidalia.

Perhaps the only silver lining is that floods are a slow moving event and thus residents have time to prepare. One of the cheapest, most effective forms of flood protection are emergency sandbags from NYP.

Whole neighborhoods and even businesses were moving to escape the floodwaters of the Mississippi River.

Many have made such temporary moves during past floods, but never to the extent as this year. For that reason those who own apartments in Natchez have often offered short term leases to those who might want to move into the area. The supply of such leases is dwindling rapidly this year.

Such migration has occurred previously, because Natchez is on a high bluff overlooking the mighty Mississippi River, while Vidalia is in a lowland floodplain. Many buildings in Natchez stand 250 feet above the river.

The floods in April and May 2011 are among the strongest in the past century. Areas experiencing flooding have included Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana. President Obama has declared western counties in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky to be Federal disaster areas. Almost 400 people have already been killed in storms related to the flooding.

Residents in many areas of Simmesport, Louisiana, have had to evacuate their homes. Many had to go to shelters for safety.

In press reports, Simmesport Assistant Police Chief Dale Dupuis explained that 14 families had to be evacuated from one area alone and taken to Magnaville, which also provided a shelter during Hurricane Katrina. The roads in the area the families were evacuated from, J B. Cutoff Road, John Rusk Road, and Fisherman Drive, have all been evacuated. The areas are all outside the protection of the town’s levee.

A spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers said the levee protects up to 69 feet of water, and the town does not expect flooding in areas the levee does protect. The flooding is expected to crest at 50 feet on May 22. On the other hand, John Rusk Road, which is not protected, was expected to be underwater by May 15.

Some areas and individuals affected by flooding in different areas, including Fargo, North Dakota, and Winona, Minnesota, planned to use sandbag dike deployments to protect against the flooding.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, June 9th, 2011 at 2:19 pm and is filed under Flood Protection, NYP-Corp News, Sandbags.

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