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WEATHER Mississippi River Flooding (Southern Version)
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  1. #1

    Mississippi River Flooding (Southern Version)

    With the opening of the Morganza Spillway this weekend, it is time for this thread...
    "...Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil." - Ephesians 5:14-17

  2. #2
    https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_ro...2de05fd05.html

    Trump OKs Louisiana emergency declaration ahead of Morganza Spillway opening
    BY ELIZABETH CRISP | ECRISP@THEADVOCATE.COM MAY 29, 2019 - 7:51 PM


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has approved a federal disaster declaration for the state of Louisiana’s flood fight, including some emergency protective measures, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Wednesday evening.

    “I thank President Trump for recognizing the urgency of our request and responding so quickly,” Gov. Edwards said in the statement. “We have been preparing for the opening of the Morganza Spillway by submerging a barge in Bayou Chene to reduce backwater flooding into communities across five parishes. This is an important first step, and we stand ready, alongside our federal partners, to support our local leaders in the coming days and weeks, as even more water is expected to make its way to Louisiana.”


    The approval is for emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance under the Public Assistance program, at 75 percent federal funding for St. Mary Parish. FEMA also can provide direct federal assistance for the parishes of Assumption, Catahoula, Concordia, Iberville, Pointe Coupee, Rapides, St. Landry, St. Martin, Terrebonne and West Feliciana. FEMA will cover 75 percent of the costs.

    Members of the Louisiana congressional delegation had come together to ask Trump for the federal emergency declaration ahead of the historic opening of the Morganza Spillway this weekend.

    "Protection measures such as gabion baskets and sandbags, and a barge structure at Bayou Chene and other protection features in the Atchafalaya Basin are required," the bipartisan group wrote in a letter to the White House.

    Once Morganza Spillway opens, how high will water rise? 7 feet predicted around Krotz Springs
    Once Morganza Spillway opens, how high will water rise? 7 feet predicted around Krotz Springs
    This weekend will be the third time the spillway is opened in its 46-year history. It is expected to create massive flooding throughout the Atchafalaya Basin. It's just the latest flood threat for thousands of Louisiana residents, they write in the letter, which urges the federal government to expedite emergency measures to prevent major flooding events that are caused by drainage from other states "and a lack of proper river management and maintenance of the Mississippi River system."

    The delegation also has sent a second letter directly to the U.S. Department of Agriculture to address farm concerns before the Corps opens the Morganza on Sunday.

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    All eight members — Sens. Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy, and Reps. Ralph Abraham, Garret Graves, Clay Higgins, Mike Johnson, Cedric Richmond and Steve Scalise — signed both letters.

    About 25,000 acres of farmland in the area could see massive flooding, and officials say it threatens a total crop and aquaculture loss in the region.

    Get ready, Morganza opens Sunday; here's how that impacts animals, anglers
    Get ready, Morganza opens Sunday; here's how that impacts animals, anglers
    "Louisiana agriculture is still recoiling from the heavy hit provided by severe weather and tariffs imposed by China in the 2018 planting year," members wrote in a letter to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. "Tens of thousands of acres of soybeans and other commodities were left standing in fields unharvested, while others faced a severely depressed market. The opening of the Morganza Spillway will further devastate the lives and livelihoods of Louisiana farmers."

    That letter seeks for the USDA to "stand ready not only to provide all appropriate (USDA) emergency and non-emergency resources available to those adversely impacted, but to assist eligible farmers and producers to access available aid across the federal government."


    052419 Mississippi River Morganza spillways
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    BY DAN SWENSON | THE ADVOCATE
    Stress, worry, anxiety: Some prepared to wait out flooding with Morganza Spillway set to open
    Stress, worry, anxiety: Some prepared to wait out flooding with Morganza Spillway set to open
    Morganza Spillway preparations: Here's the history of sinking barges to control backwater flooding
    Morganza Spillway preparations: Here's the history of sinking barges to control backwater flooding
    FOLLOW ELIZABETH CRISP ON TWITTER, @ELIZABETHCRISP.
    "...Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil." - Ephesians 5:14-17

  3. #3
    https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_ro...13481c108.html

    Get ready, Morganza opens Sunday; here's how that impacts animals, anglers

    BY JOE MACALUSO | JMACALUSO@THEADVOCATE.COM MAY 29, 2019 - 7:00 PM

    Come Sunday, when the first pins are pulled from the Morganza Spillway gates, the entire 60 miles of our country’s largest overflow swamp will change.

    For how long and the how much effect it will have on the fauna and flora of this incredible area are the biggest questions.

    A first memory of the full rush of water through the Morganza Spillway is 1973, a record flood then, and one only exceeded by this year’s rising waters during the past nine months.

    Former Advocate Outdoors writer Mike Cook, God rest his soul, documented 1973’s efforts of state Wildlife and Fisheries biologists and staff along with dozens of volunteers who spent hours on end attempting rescue of whitetail deer from the rising waters in the Atchafalaya Basin.


    Lessons learned then prompted state Wildlife Division biologists to come up with something along the order of a “leave deer alone” policy, believing deer can better fend for themselves in the rising water when the floodgates were opened in 2011.

    Truth is, the 1973 venture didn’t produce the kind of results the LDWF staff intended. Very few deer were captured and brought to the safety of wooded areas outside the basin’s east and west guide levees. And from witnessing those efforts firsthand, it was a struggle to get even the smallest of whitetails into a boat and headed for a safer place.

    And lots of deer did cross the levees in 2011. Herds could be seen munching grasses atop the levees, and, when approached, almost seemed to know where to dash to escape human encroachment.

    The biggest problem, it appeared, was poachers, who took advantage of this exodus to kill or maim whitetails.

    A further examination of the situation can be broken down into several segments for what’s expected to happen in the next months.

    Land animals

    Deer are the most visible among the quadrupeds, but there are many others, some which can adapt to the water and some which can’t.

    Deer can’t, although in 2011 we observed five whitetails nestled on a raft of timber and debris and riding the current like folks snuggled in an inner-tube floating down the Amite River. Those deer disappeared behind a row of willows and we don’t know what happened to them.

    Yet, others by the hundreds, escaped, but it’s clear in the intervening years a lower number of whitetails returned to the basin after the spillway’s gates were closed and the water receded.


    Moreover, by some strange twist from Mother Nature, the deer breeding cycle is extra late across the major rivers’ basins and the fawn “drop” is late in this area, maybe into late August, long after however many females have left the basin.

    Rabbits have been known to swim the Mississippi River, so this event shouldn’t be a problem for their populations.

    Squirrels live in trees — except for the buggers who like to steal tomatoes from backyards these days — and most will survive.

    Alligators will be gators and go where they darned well please, and otters and nutria will swim their way out.

    Feral hogs are in the mix, too, and they should be given a wide berth when they’re moving from the basin.

    And, there are enough black bears throughout the area that folks could come in contact with them. The LDWF asks anyone encountering bears in a rural or urban setting to call (337) 262-2080.

    Birds, except for turkeys, should be OK. A flood like that which is coming cripples turkey numbers, if only because the nesting season is just about over and whatever chicks hatched certainly won’t have the ability to fly from their rearing grounds.

    A bigger problem for all land animals is habitat. Sheet-water flooding destroys lots of understory, the plants most of these animals need to survive. With the Mississippi River carrying water enough for a prediciton of “normal” waterflow well into July, there might not be enough time for plants to re-establish by the fall to carry animal populations through the winter.

    There is a benefit to all this water: it comes from new silt deposits, which will stimulate new plant growth in the coming years.

    Fish

    OK, so it’s water and fish live in it, and can thrive amidst all the food — crawfish and the like — sheet-water flooding brings to the basin.

    The problem here comes much later than the spillway’s opening and the volume of water moving heavy loads of detritus into the waterways when the water goes down.

    The leaves, twigs, branches and other dead plants usually get washed into basin canals and bayous, and, during summer’s heat, begin to decompose.

    Worse yet is all this newly introduced organic matter needs oxygen to begin decomposition, and this causes even large waterbodies to become anoxic, or devoid of dissolved oxygen.

    So, as with most all south Louisiana waters, and under summer’s heat, no dissolved oxygen leads to fish kills, certainly not the kind we saw in 1993’s aftermath of Hurricane Andrew in the Atchafalaya Basin — remember the estimated 175 million fish killed from that storm — but there will be dead fish.

    Worst of all, we could see this event repeat over and over again in other flooded areas, like the Verret Basin and some areas south of U.S 90 in the Atchafalaya Delta, although fish in that latter area are less prone to encounter anoxic conditions.

    So, for the thousands of anglers who are expecting a windfall of action after the water is out, there is peril at the end of the flood. It’s something that’s happened before, and sometimes happens annually, but it will come, so don’t be shocked when you see thousands of baitfish, even a few gamefish, floating on both east and west sides of the basin.

    A note for fishermen: when water gets low enough, there will be a procession to the launches on the basin’s east and west sides. There will be enough water and enough silt to create new sandbars and cuts.

    Just know the topography of the basin will change, and change dramatically in some areas, and you will need to be cautious when running a boat even in areas you know “like the back of your hand.”

    Snakes

    If you live in or around the basin, experiences with past floods have taught many of us to be wary of where you walk on the levees and surrounding areas.

    Snakes move with the water, too, and if you spend enough time in these places in the next weeks you could see any number of poisonous critters, including rattlesnakes, cottonmouths, copperheads and coral snakes.

    Those pretty little coral snakes have a way of getting into the tightest places in the back of sheds and in boats and can deliver a pretty tough punch, not at first, but wait and, well, you don’t want to find out.

    The coast

    Move this volume of water from the two major rivers in the southern U.S. and it’s bound to affect coastal fishing.

    A couple of weeks after the spillway’s opening, folks will begin to see rafts of dead water hyacinths in coastal waters – and a lot of dirty water moving to the beaches even as far east (from the Atchafalaya) as Last Island chain and whatever beaches remain in Timbalier Bay.

    The slug of freshwater will move lots of species, including shrimp and pogeys, and when you move these two forage species, speckled trout and other recreational fishing targets will move, too.

    In past openings, or in other heavy floods, the rafts of dead hyacinths can be a bonus. Tripletail find them and hide under the mats and can be a target for catching one of the most delectable fish there is swimming in coastal Louisiana.


    There have been times when the freshwater push sends trout to the beaches and other shallow-reef spots and this provides a bonanza for anglers.

    Know, too, that freshwater is lighter than saltwater, and just because you see a lot of muddy river water on the surface idoesn’t mean the trout have moved from the shallows of bays and coastal lakes. Try your favorite places first, and if it doesn't pan out, then go hunting specks.

    Just get ready. The Morganza Spillway is opening Sunday.
    "...Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil." - Ephesians 5:14-17

  4. #4
    Full USACE Morganza Spillway and Atchafalaya River Flood Briefing - May 29, 2019

    Last edited by BenIan; 05-30-2019 at 07:58 AM.
    "...Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil." - Ephesians 5:14-17

  5. #5
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    Sorry I just posted an update on the other thread..don’t know how to move it over to this one. My WiFi is weak where I am tonight and apparently I was typing while the thread moving message was made.

  6. #6
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    excellent presser link on the briefing there and I note they said 'electricity should be good for any water up to 12 ft'. And someone in the audience said Butte La Rose peaked at 23 ft. in 2011 *sigh*

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Sandcastle76 View Post
    Sorry I just posted an update on the other thread..don’t know how to move it over to this one. My WiFi is weak where I am tonight and apparently I was typing while the thread moving message was made.
    I moved them... they pasted in above. Praying for you, and all in the midst of this disaster.

    Summerthyme

  8. #8
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    Thank you

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by summerthyme View Post
    I moved them... they pasted in above. Praying for you, and all in the midst of this disaster.

    Summerthyme
    Thank you! It affects up river as well because it slows if not stops barge traffic!
    People are quick to confuse and despise confidence as arrogance but that is common amongst those who have never accomplished anything in their lives and who have always played it safe not willing to risk failure.

  10. #10
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    I recently drove down MS Hwy 3 which runs down from Yazoo City to Vicksburg...water everywhere. They are now saying Yazoo City will probably flood like it did in 2011. Some may know, but many here donít understand how much agriculture is produced from say Greenville and Greenwood, MS (on the east side of MS river) down the entire length of the state and on the opposite LA (west side of the river) down from Oak Grove to say Morganza / Plaquemine area. These are some of the best and richest cropland acres in United States.. Itís called ďIce Cream LandĒ and our farm consists totally of Bruin Loam, which constantly produces well above the crop averages per acre, way above the average. This area produces the bulk of the rice, beans, sugar cane, hay, a huge amount of corn along with a good amount of milo and wheat. This is human food and animal feed.

    Stock up is all I can say...sugar is on sale now and corn meal is still cheap...flour in commercial size bags and if you can grind it yourself, some raw wheat. Donít forget dried beans of all kinds and expect meats to soar in price.

    I honestly donít know if the ports can continue to operate much longer and donít know where the grain and other goods will be held. .. and again, we havenít seen any of the snow melt yet.

    Weíve got 3 properties that could suffer flood damage if the river tops.

    As to Natchez, the river is very high but the bluffs and the ďunder the hillĒ areas are not flooded yet...water super high and the tributary Buffalo River between Natchez and Woodville is super high also. This area is directly above the Angola spillway / gate structure ...when it opens it will flow down directly to St. Francisville and into Point Coupee parish which is where the morganza spillway is. Pray the opening the spillways works cause otherwise the river will top the levees which could, probably would, cause a breach of epic proportions... Baton Rouge possibly all the way down. Feel sorry for the people around morganza and butte laírose cause theyíre going to lose homes and livestock if they canít get the animals evacuated.

    Iím keeping and reminding myself to stay positive and remember itís not my plan and not my place to question or understand the plan. My only demand from God is to trust the plan and his understanding. Grace is not something that comes easily to me...Iíve had to make do over and over during my life...itís challenging and in truth there are very few people I trust other than myself...gotta learn more humility and the ability to let go but itís soooooo hard for me, since Iíve never had somebody to depend on other than myself...any way.... say a prayer for what may be and one for me to learn from past lessons that I need to be humble and accept Gods plan...not understand it. Now yíall know why I donít sleep more than 4 hours a night...lol, gosh Iím a mess and donít do stress well. Prayers up !!

  11. #11
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    I also donít know why they waited so long to implement a plan to relieve the amount of water in the MS river....up river flooding has been going on for sometime now...maybe they were too optimistic and the continued rain / storms were their undoing.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenIan View Post
    With the opening of the Morganza Spillway this weekend, it is time for this thread...
    Thank youfo4 posting a link in the Midwest flooding thread, it’ll make so much more sense for those coming late to the story!
    People are quick to confuse and despise confidence as arrogance but that is common amongst those who have never accomplished anything in their lives and who have always played it safe not willing to risk failure.

  13. #13
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    And FYI it’s still raining here in iowa tonight, not here locally but west, north and east of me and it’s torrential rain. 1993 is starting to look like a cake walk!


    When I moved here in 1993 my county was in the midst of a drought, even though everything was under flood waters. Oh the irony.

    And it’s starting to shape up to that again which means absolute hell for those down river.
    People are quick to confuse and despise confidence as arrogance but that is common amongst those who have never accomplished anything in their lives and who have always played it safe not willing to risk failure.

  14. #14
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    Original post has error....says this is only the third time the spillway has been opened...hell, this is the second time this year! Then 2011, 1973...so this is at least the fourth...seems it was opened a couple of years ago, also.

  15. #15
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    Just saw on Facebook that lock and dam #19 over the Mississippi is now under water, as to whether or not it still exists is anyone’s best guess.
    People are quick to confuse and despise confidence as arrogance but that is common amongst those who have never accomplished anything in their lives and who have always played it safe not willing to risk failure.

  16. #16
    https://watershed.la.gov/assets/docs...Structures.pdf

    Great link with lots of maps and diagrams showing the river “control” system in south Louisiana.
    "...Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil." - Ephesians 5:14-17

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