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Water water everywhere along the Mississippi. levee blown by Corps of Engineers. by maryjane
Started on: 05-03-2011 02:41 PM
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Last post by: cliffw on 05-05-2011 07:59 AM
maryjane
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Report this Post05-03-2011 02:41 PM Click Here to See the Profile for maryjaneSend a Private Message to maryjaneDirect Link to This Post
(edit)

This is one of the times I wish ya could bump a thread up out of archives, but I'll continue a 5 year old thread here. You can find the original at
http://www.fiero.nl/forum/A...060811-6-036724.html
(end edit)

Gonna be interesting to see what all the flooding does to food prices this year. 130,000 acres and approx 100 homes in Mississippi were inundated by flood water when the USACOE blew a 2 mile hole in the Bird's Point levee to save a town of 2800 residents--Cairo Ill. That water will return to the Mississippi basin somewhere, and still continue downstream at some point. Towns and cities all along the Lower Mississippi are still worried. Memphis included. Rainfall and flooding continues along the tributaries in Arkansas (White River) and other mid south states. It's gonna be ugly when that brown water reaches Old River, Morganza, and the Ponchatrain control structures. The CoE will release a CRAPLOAD of water this year, and it will be predominantly pasture and farmland that will get flooded.


http://www.tennessean.com/a...urg-homes-evacuated-

[This message has been edited by maryjane (edited 05-05-2011).]

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Scottzilla79
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Report this Post05-03-2011 02:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Scottzilla79Send a Private Message to Scottzilla79Direct Link to This Post
Interesting, How far up are decisions like this made?
By the way, that is Cairo(Kare-roe), Illinois.
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maryjane
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Report this Post05-03-2011 02:52 PM Click Here to See the Profile for maryjaneSend a Private Message to maryjaneDirect Link to This Post
Pretty far up I suspect. It's not done lightly, and not done solely on a local level by the local CoE commander without upper Corps Chain of Command authorization.

[This message has been edited by maryjane (edited 05-03-2011).]

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Nurb432
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Report this Post05-03-2011 02:54 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Nurb432Send a Private Message to Nurb432Direct Link to This Post
One of those 'lets try to choose the lesser of disaster' decisions. Id hate to have to make those kinds of decisions.
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cliffw
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Report this Post05-03-2011 03:11 PM Click Here to See the Profile for cliffwClick Here to Email cliffwSend a Private Message to cliffwDirect Link to This Post
You can't fool with Mother Nature.
I heard that report. Thought the same thing about food prices, and bail outs (no pun intended).
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Report this Post05-03-2011 03:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for JazzManClick Here to Email JazzManSend a Private Message to JazzManDirect Link to This Post
This decision went to the US supreme court, according to what I heard on the radio last night. A real lose-lose choice, loose a year of crops or a whole town. Luckily, though it's a lot of farm land it's a very small percentage of all crop land here and abroad, so it likely won't even cause a speculative bubble in the commodities markets. I look at it like amputating a limb to save the body. The farmers will recover, it's not like it's the first time the Mighty Mississippi has flexed its muscles a bit.
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maryjane
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Report this Post05-03-2011 03:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for maryjaneSend a Private Message to maryjaneDirect Link to This Post
Many decades ago, the people of New Orleans blew the levee at Caernarvon La, flooding all of St Bernard Parish (county), with what was then the state version of CoE approval. Most St Bernard residents never got their compensation, and to this day, USACoE is a dirty word in that Parish.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wik...ssippi_Flood_of_1927
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cliffw
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Report this Post05-03-2011 03:19 PM Click Here to See the Profile for cliffwClick Here to Email cliffwSend a Private Message to cliffwDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by JazzMan:
This decision went to the US supreme court, according to what I heard on the radio last night.

You listen to political stuff ?
The Supreme Court can not hear a case that was not appealed through the ranks. Why won't they take on Obama Care ?
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maryjane
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Report this Post05-03-2011 03:24 PM Click Here to See the Profile for maryjaneSend a Private Message to maryjaneDirect Link to This Post
Not the first time--won't be the last time, and tho this is "just" 130,000 acres, grocery prices are already high, and we don't know yet how many more acres will be flooded during this flood season. The Atchafaya Basin will almost certainly see some spillway flooding even if only Old River is opened since by congressional mandate, the CoE is required to keep the Mississippi to Atchafaya Rivers flow ratio at 70:30 % ratio regardless of the total amt of water at that control structure. Open Morganza or even the structure at Madrid, and it's going to be in square miles, not acres. The design "Project Flood" that USACoE plans for, is about 2.9 million Cu Ft/sec flow just above Old River Control Structure. I don't think we will see that this year, but it is noteworthy, that the Corps doesn't include in their Project Flood design, to blow any permanant levees--just the temporary 'fuse plugs' that are built into the extreme southern Miss and Atchafalya Rivers.




My interest in this is purely hydrology and has been for many years. I lived, for over 18 years, within a few miles of the outer Atchafalya levee and have seen firsthand, the results of those control structures being opened in an effort to save New Orleans--usually at the expense of others.

http://www.fiero.nl/forum/A...060811-6-036724.html

[This message has been edited by maryjane (edited 05-03-2011).]

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Report this Post05-03-2011 04:50 PM Click Here to See the Profile for JazzManClick Here to Email JazzManSend a Private Message to JazzManDirect Link to This Post
According to http://www.ers.usda.gov/statefacts/us.htm total farm land in this country as of 2007 is 922 million acres, of which 406 million acres is defined as "cropland". This figure is down 39 million acres since 1997. Wow. Did not realize that big of a drop in only ten years. The estimated loss from blowing this levee is 130,000 acres, about 3.2x10-4, or 0.032% of the total. Dollar loss will be less because replanting and rebuilding costs should be far less for 100 farms than for several thousand homes and businesses, and in any case, if the permanent loss of 39 million acres didn't cripple our farm economy I doubt that the temporary loss of a microscopic fraction of it will.
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maryjane
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Report this Post05-03-2011 05:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for maryjaneSend a Private Message to maryjaneDirect Link to This Post
http://www.reuters.com/arti...dUSN0221277620110503

I imagine, that the loss of homes/businesses belonging to the 2800 residents of Cairo would have an equally infinitesimal affect on the other 400 million residents in the US as well. It's all well and good to do comparisons of what things do to small #s of people and discard them as "not overly important in the bigger scheme of things"(my words) until one becomes a member of that small group.

But I do understand the implications of a "historic town" in one state (the article's words) being lost as compared to 130,000 acres of rural farmland and a measley 100 rural homes in another state being a no brainer for most--keeping in mind the deed restrictions on the rural land in the floodway. Cairo, or most of it, is also in a floodplain, (otherwise, there would be no need to blast the levee) but that's a different kettle of fish, but it has been flooded out many many times through out it's history.

It's not surprising to see we've lost that much acerage and still see grocery shelves fully stocked. One has but to walk thru the produce, canned, and meat sections of any grocery store to see how the difference has been made up. Like everything else, "Imported from__________" "a product of ____________" "Grown in ____________ " (fill in the blanks with the name of a foriegn nation).

I can remember, in my adult lifetime, rarely if ever seeing any produce , canned goods, or meats from other nations. (except in an ethnic specific aisle or store) Now, it's commonplace, especially in meats, seafood, and produce.

[This message has been edited by maryjane (edited 05-03-2011).]

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Report this Post05-03-2011 06:56 PM Click Here to See the Profile for skuzzbomerSend a Private Message to skuzzbomerDirect Link to This Post
Memphis area businesses and smaller municipalities have been screaming about this for the past week... we already have quite a bit of equipment down there as it is and everybody's getting ready to order more.

I was in that area about 4 days ago and there was a good bit of water just from the rain that week.
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Report this Post05-03-2011 06:59 PM Click Here to See the Profile for twofatguysClick Here to Email twofatguysSend a Private Message to twofatguysDirect Link to This Post
OK, the ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS is a part of the Government.

Please mark this as political.

Brad
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Report this Post05-03-2011 06:59 PM Click Here to See the Profile for JazzManClick Here to Email JazzManSend a Private Message to JazzManDirect Link to This Post
I understand that nobody won in this situation. The only way to play it is to minimize losses as best as one can, because there will be losses. I don't trivialize the losses to the farmers, it's tragic, but I accept that the alternative was worse, there was no good solution. At least the 100 or so farmers had notice and could make plans, for protecting assets and livestock. Being able to plan for a disaster, even with only a few days notice, is far better than no notice at all. I truly hope the families involved will be able to recover quickly.
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Report this Post05-03-2011 07:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for blackramsClick Here to Email blackramsSend a Private Message to blackramsDirect Link to This Post
I find it interesting that those that knowingly choose to build and live in a flood zone take priority.

------------------
Ron

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maryjane
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Report this Post05-03-2011 07:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for maryjaneSend a Private Message to maryjaneDirect Link to This Post
a. It's not political unless someone chooses to make it so, then they can mark their own reply as such.
b. I've already stated what my interest is, and it's economics at worst. I have a long standing and PFF documented interest in Miss River floods.
c. I will not re-tag it at anyone's request other than the only mderator and owner of this forum.
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maryjane
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Report this Post05-03-2011 07:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for maryjaneSend a Private Message to maryjaneDirect Link to This Post

maryjane

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Member since Apr 2001
Better to have a week's notice a river flood is coming to your town or a hurricane's storm surge is coming than 3 minutes notice a tornado is upon you.
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Report this Post05-04-2011 01:21 PM Click Here to See the Profile for JazzManClick Here to Email JazzManSend a Private Message to JazzManDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by maryjane:

a. It's not political unless someone chooses to make it so, then they can mark their own reply as such.
b. I've already stated what my interest is, and it's economics at worst. I have a long standing and PFF documented interest in Miss River floods.
c. I will not re-tag it at anyone's request other than the only mderator and owner of this forum.


twofatguys was being sarcastic, methinks...
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Report this Post05-04-2011 01:26 PM Click Here to See the Profile for cliffwClick Here to Email cliffwSend a Private Message to cliffwDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by JazzMan:
... methinks...

[slaps head]
 
quote
cliffw
Don't think !

[/slaps head]
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maryjane
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Report this Post05-05-2011 01:28 AM Click Here to See the Profile for maryjaneSend a Private Message to maryjaneDirect Link to This Post
The Project Flood design is for 2.1 million cu ft/sec in Louisiana. Project Flood, is the Corp's vision of the biggest, baddest, most awfullest Mississippi River flood that man can possibly have a snowball's chance in hell to control..
Next week, only if river experts are correct, and no more rain falls on the lower Mississippi, we will see a river within .2 million cu ft/sec of a never seen before--Project Flood.

USACE predicts 1.9 million cu ft/second will flow past Red River Landing above Baton Rouge La next week. For the 1st time in 38 years, the Morganza floodgates will swing open flooding the Atchafalya Basin floodway. (They were only opened back then, (1973) as a last ditch effort to prevent the destruction of the Old River Control Structure.) Shortly afterwards, Bonnet Carre will raise it's flood pilings, sending torrents of water into Lake Pontchatrane. Old River's importance cannot be downplayed in any flood scenario. It's loss, would change the Mississippi River forever, and do untold billions of damage to the economy of the US. If you think gasoline prices are high now, see what happens if, and,or when Old River washes away.

Old River will open everything it has, as the Corps HAS to send 30% of the river's flow down the Atchafaya River to Morgan City regardless of how large the total river flow is, but Morganza probably will not be opened at all stations. Too much velocity would wash the outer Atchafalya Basin levees away, flooding all of South La in the process. Old River is only rated at 620,000 cu ft/sec, but should be ok as long as Morganza is opened, otherwise, Old River would see 630,000 cu ft/sec, and it simply can't take it.

Here's what Morganza looked like last week:


And as it looked yesterday, and we'll see what it looks like next week.


I'll have to see if I can find a current air shot of Bonnet Carre.

I may just drive over to La and see it for myself, but I can say, the noise is defeaning at Morganza, and the ground shudders, when those gates are even partially opened.

[This message has been edited by maryjane (edited 05-05-2011).]

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maryjane
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Report this Post05-05-2011 04:14 AM Click Here to See the Profile for maryjaneSend a Private Message to maryjaneDirect Link to This Post
I looked at some forecasts, and some past records. Gonna be an interesting and rather long May for the deep south, especially in Louisiana. The Mississippi, isn't due (forecast) to crest until May 24. That's 3 weeks away. Plenty of time, but the bad news, is that the expected crest is going to be at a record level, according to USACE websites and historical data.



USACE in conjunction with the NWS/NOAA puts the forecast river stages together, and it can be found at the National Weather Service River Forecast Center's website:
http://www.srh.noaa.gov/lmr...andohioriverforecast

Here's a screenshot, editing out the Ohio River and some of the Miss. River's gaging stations, since all I am really interested in is the lower river specifically South Louisiana. It shows the next 5 days' forecasts and the expected peak and 'normal' flood stage (FS). I've highlighted Red River Landing, as it is near the Old River control Structure, and above New Orleans. Note their disclaimer at the bottom, that the forecasts include 24 hrs of forecasted rainfall, as well as the note, that New Orleans is protected by levees to 20' as long as the upstream control structures are operated as expected by the USACoE.



New Orleans will see a projected crest of 17 feet on May 24, which is flood stage. Their record is 17.52' set in 1945 at the IHNC lock, which was before some the current control structures were built. Red River Landing will see 65.5 ft which will top the old record of 61.61 ft set in 1997. (btw, the levee along the IHNC is the same one that failed during Hurricane Katrina)
This means, that South Louisiana, will see more flood water diverted down spillways and floodways than at any time in the history of the USACE and for a longer period of time, since Morganza will be opened next week, and Bonnet Carre soon afterwards. The problem is, that unlike the upper river, the floodways in La are swamps--tree covered swamps, as well as some farmland. Because it has been nearly forty years since Morganza was opened, the floodway has naturally silted and built up due to farming and fallen vegetation. These floodways aren't as wide as the areas up north, and aren't something that can routinely be cleaned out. Before man stuck his fingers into the pie, the river used to clean them out itself, so we don't really know if the Atchafalya floodway can handle this much water. Control structures won't work if there is no place for the water to go. Keep in mind, that the Atchafalya floodway is located between an inner and outer set of levees. This keeps most of the flow out in the swamp, and not roaring down the Atchafalya River channel itself. That's the whole purpose of the Old River structure--to prevent the Mississippi River from changing course and taking the shorter route to the Gulf, which is down the Atchafalya River. Once it does that, there is no getting it back--

[This message has been edited by maryjane (edited 05-05-2011).]

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Report this Post05-05-2011 07:59 AM Click Here to See the Profile for cliffwClick Here to Email cliffwSend a Private Message to cliffwDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by maryjane:
New Orleans will see a projected crest of 17 feet on May 24, which is flood stage. Their record is 17.52' set in 1945 at the IHNC lock, ...

What was it when Katrina hit and the ocean swells backed water up into the Mississippi River ?
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