On February 17th, 2019, many regions along the Mississippi River rose above their flood stages. At this current time, many locations along the river are still above flood stage. Vicksburg, located in Warren County, Mississippi along with other regions near the Mississippi River, is experiencing the longest, above flood stage duration since the Great Flood of 1927. In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, flood waters have risen and remained above the 35-foot flood stage level throughout the past few months. In Red River Landing, Louisiana, flood waters have also risen and remain above the 48-foot flood stage level. As of May 14th, 2019, over 260 river gauges throughout the Midwest have recorded river flooding levels above the flood stage, categorized as minor, moderate, and major flood statuses, as detailed in the diagram below.
Factors leading to this historic flooding event have been rapid melting of snow and intense rainfall in the Midwest regions. Because of this rapid snow melt and intense rainfall, runoff from these sources has absorbed into the soil so quickly that oversaturation has prevented normal seepage. The soil is then unable to dry out in time before another rainfall event occurs. Therefore, this runoff has nowhere else to go. The runoff flows downslope into the Mississippi River, filling and flooding the Mississippi. Hydrologists believe that flooding in this region of the Mississippi is caused in part due to sediments being deposited onto the floor of the riverbed. The buildup of these sediments has caused flood waters to rise higher than they would have in previous years. Since February 2019 to present day, various regions along the Mississippi River have remained well above the flood stage, making this the longest lasting flood in over 90 years.
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© 2019 Weather Forecaster Christina Talamo