Record Midwest flooding to create largest ever ‘dead zone’ in Gulf of Mexico, more storms and levee releases on the way
The US Midwest continues to get slammed by heavy rains and winter snow melt that have swelled the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, and left countless thousands of acres of the plains under water. Many towns and cities along the Missouri River in Nebraska, Iowa, and even up into the Dakotas and Montana, are now threatened by new flooding caused by levee breaches and more rains expected to hit in the coming days. Worse, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) supported scientists say the overall flooding could create the most severe dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico that has ever occurred.
Epic flooding, repeated onslaughts of severe storms and extreme tornadoes have created one of the worst disaster situations ever experienced in the Midwest, and things are only expected to worsen. According to recent reports, six major water reservoirs along the Missouri River are severely swollen, and six dams between Fort Peck, Mont., and Gavins Point along the South Dakota and Nebraska border, have either already reached peak releases, or are expected to Read more…
May 18 (Bloomberg) — The engorged Mississippi River is cresting in the state that bears its name, rising to major flood stage and above in towns famous for Civil War battles, riverboat landings and antebellum homes.
The river left standing its 1927 record in Greenville, Mississippi, when it crested there yesterday at 64.2 feet, below the 65.4-foot mark that helped lead to the creation of the U.S. Flood Control Act of 1928 for river management.
A crest of 57.5 feet, more than a foot above the 1927 high, is expected tomorrow at Vicksburg, while downstream at Natchez the river is forecast to top out May 21 at 63 feet, 5 feet above a 1937 record.
“We have the levee there and we’re praying it holds,” said Beth Hite, 53, bartender at Natchez’s Under-the-Hill Saloon, which bills itself as a place where thieves and gamblers roamed in the days when the town was a major riverboat stop. “We have been sandbagging and now they are building those artificial levees.”
Farther down the river, in Louisiana, 15 gates are open on the Morganza spillway, diverting the Mississippi’s excess into the Atchafalaya River basin. The opening of the spillway for the first time since 1973 eased the threat of flooding for Baton Rouge, New Orleans and a major petrochemical zone while sending the water into Cajun country.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said yesterday that the Read more…
|Workers build a temporary levee in Krotz Springs, La., Thursday, May 12, 2011, in advance of possible flooding if the Morganza Spillway north of Baton Rouge is opened. Crews were rushing to build temporary levees to protect properties that have been built outside of the town’s permanent ring levee over the last few decades. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)|
BUTTE LAROSE, La. (AP) — In the latest agonizing decision along the swollen Mississippi River, federal engineers are close to opening a massive spillway that would protect Baton Rouge and New Orleans but flood hundreds of thousands of acres in Louisiana Cajun country.
With that threat looming, some 25,000 people in an area known for small farms, fish camps, crawfish and a drawling French dialect are hurriedly packing their things and worrying that their homes and way of life might soon be drowned.
People in this riverfront community gathered at their volunteer fire station to hear a man dressed in Army fatigues deliver an Read more…
(NaturalNews) Workers at the Grand Gulf Nuclear Plant in Port Gibson, Miss., last Thursday released a large amount of radioactive tritium directly into the Mississippi River, according to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and experts are currently trying to sort out the situation. An investigation is currently underway to determine why the tritium was even present in standing water found in an abandoned unit of the plant, as well as how much of this dangerous nuclear byproduct ended up getting dumped into the river. Many also want to know why workers released the toxic tritium before conducting proper tests.
The Mississippi Natchez Democrat reports that crews first discovered the radioactive water in the plant’s Unit 2 turbine building after heavy rains began hitting the area last week. Unit 2 was a partially-constructed, abandoned structure that should not have contained any radioactive materials, let alone tritium, which is commonly used to manufacture nuclear weapons and test atomic bombs (http://www.nirs.org/radiation/triti…). Read more…
Tourists gathered and gawkers snapped photos of the rising Mississippi River, even as more residents were told to flee their homes and the river’s crest edged towards Memphis in Tennessee.
US officials went door-to-door on Sunday, warning about 240 people to get out before the river reached its expected peak on Tuesday.
In all, residents in more than 1300 homes have been told to go, and about 370 people were staying in shelters.
The Mississippi spared Kentucky and north-west Tennessee catastrophic flooding, but some low-lying towns and farmland along the Read more…