Have Flood Controls on the Mississippi River Been Successful?
ES1308  After the Flood of 1927

Following the Great Flood of 1927, the Army Corps of Engineers was again charged with taming the Mississippi River. Under the Flood Control Act of 1928, the world's longest system of levees was built. Floodways that diverted excessive flow from the Mississippi River were constructed. Reservoirs on major tributaries like the Missouri River were also built. By 1936, the Mississippi River had 29 locks and dams, hundreds of runoff channels, and 1000 miles of levees. Would this new set of flood control structures be able to contain a flood event?

US Army Corps of Engineers Boise State University
The New Madrid, Missouri floodway was built in the 1930s to divert floodwaters from the Mississippi. Although the nearby farm is inundated by water, areas downstream were spared more extensive damage by utilizing the floodway. This dwelling was located near the base of a large levee constructed after 1927. Although levees held back small floods, large flooding events could explode through the barrier with the effect of a dam giving way.
Library of Congress Library of Congress
This image shows dam construction on the Mississippi in 1937. Dams were constructed to provide reservoirs for containing floodwaters. Locks had to be constructed to allow barge traffic to move around dams. This image shows lock construction on the Mississippi in 1937.
4. How was the flood control system constructed under the Flood Control Act of 1928 different from earlier attempts at flood control?

 Step:   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10