August 16, 2016

The 70-Mile-Wide River


'Historic' Louisiana Flooding Affects 40,000 Homes, Governor Says

About 40,000 homes in southeastern Louisiana have been affected by days of devastating flooding, which Gov. John Bel Edwards today described as "unprecedented" and "historic." At least eight people have died, he said, adding that authorities remain in emergency search mode in many parishes. Edwards said that over 20,000 people have been rescued and about 8,000 were in shelters Monday night....

Yes, it's bad but hardly "historic." It's been worse. Much, much worse.....


Louisiana 1927

River rose all day
River rose all night
Some people got lost in the flood
Some people got away alright
The river have busted through clear down to Plaquemines
Six feet of water in the streets of Evangelne

Louisiana, Louisiana
They're tyrin' to wash us away
They're tryin' to wash us away
Louisiana, Louisiana
They're tryin' to wash us away
They're tryin' to wash us away


In the winter of 1926-27 the rains were so heavy that on the tributaries of the Mississippi the water had overflowed the banks, causing floods to the west in Oklahoma and Kansas, to the east in Illinois and Kentucky.

On Good Friday, April 15, 1927, the Memphis Commercial Appeal warned: "The roaring Mississippi River, bank and levee full from St. Louis to New Orleans, is believed to be on its mightiest rampage...All along the Mississippi considerable fear is felt over the prospects for the greatest flood in history."

That Good Friday morning, the rains came, setting all-time records for their breadth and intensity. They came down over several hundred thousand square miles, covering much or all of the states of Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas, and Louisiana.

In New Orleans in 18 hours there were 15 inches of rain—the greatest ever known there. The river swelled so high and flowed so fast that in Berry's woods, for the residents along the river, " It was like facing an angry, dark ocean."

One man recalled, decades later, "I saw a whole tree just disappear, sucked under by the current, then saw it shoot up, it must have been a hundred yards [downstream]. Looked like a missile fired by a submarine."

In the spring of 1927, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers assured the public that the levees would hold. The Corps had built them, after all. But as had been the case at the mouth of the river, the Corps overestimated its own prowress and underestimated the power of the river..... The levees failed. Here, there, sometimes it seemed everywhere, the river undercut the levees. Water poured through breaks called crevasses, covering with 30 feet of water land where nearly one million people lived.

Twenty-seven thousand square miles were inundated. This was about equal to the combined size of Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Vermont. By July 1, even as the flood began to recede, 1.5 million acres were under water. The river was 70 miles wide. Man vs. Nature: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927


Posted by gerardvanderleun at August 16, 2016 10:56 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

In the 27 flood every flood control method on the Mississippi failed! Every one. By contrast in 2011 none failed. Even with a Project flood.
What LA had this weekend was a hurricane without wind.

Posted by: Mhf at August 16, 2016 12:21 PM

To experience a major flood is an experience I do not wish to live with again. Very rough for the people involved. God help them.

Posted by: Terry at August 16, 2016 2:48 PM

Why do people move back?
Why do banks lend against property?
Why do insurers take the risk?- Oh' right, it's the Feds.

Posted by: Bill Jones at August 16, 2016 3:22 PM

I've noticed increasingly the MSM labelling some event or occurrence as the biggest/worst/most destructive ever, when I know that there is some other event or occurrence that eclipsed the current event. Usually the older event took place within the last 100 years or even within my lifetime.

They aren't even trying anymore.

Posted by: el baboso at August 16, 2016 8:37 PM

A little over 30 years ago I was working on a drilling prospect that was located South of Pointe al a Hache, Louisiana and I met a number of ancient family members who had grown up in the Bohemia area and who went through the 1927 Flood. They had photos to prove their experiences and the devastation that occurred.

That country had been used for production of oranges and raising cattle and it was dotted with homes and churches, schools and the like and after the flood waters receded little or nothing was left to indicate where anything had previously been situated.

I remember one photo in particular of the very top of a church steeple that remained intact and which revealed a crucifix projecting out of the mud. The remainder of the steeple and the church itself lay buried in mud and debris 30 feet or more beneath that little cross.

That sad little photo seemed to say that the only thing left after it has all been said and done is God.

Posted by: Jack at August 17, 2016 8:06 AM

How did George Bush go back in time to 1927 and do that much damage?

As somebody said on the radio, it's pretty flat down there, and when it rains, the water really doesn't have much place to go. When it rains for days on end, you have one of these epochal floods.

Why do people go back?'s their home. They live there, and are attached to the place and each other. It's not logical, but it is very human.

Posted by: David at August 17, 2016 7:43 PM

a follow up

Posted by: mhf at August 18, 2016 7:43 AM

1 more

Posted by: Mhf at August 19, 2016 1:53 PM

Not that I know of.

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