Have Flood Controls on the Mississippi River Been Successful?
ES1308  The Flood of 1993

The effectiveness of flood controls on the Mississippi River was tested once again during the Flood of 1993. An unusual weather pattern during the late summer of 1993 resulted in soaking rains in the northern Mississippi River valley. Some areas received over 30 inches of rain during the summer, 200% more than usual. With high soil moisture levels and a large 1992 snow pack, much of the rain drained directly into the Mississippi River, resulting in a tremendous flood.

The states of Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri were the hardest hit. The river height at St. Louis, Missouri was over 50 feet above flood stage for over 100 days. Water from the flood covered over 17,000 square miles of normally dry land. The flood destroyed over 80% of levees in the upper Mississippi River. It also destroyed 50,000 homes and displaced 70,000 people. 52 flood-related deaths occurred. The final damage estimate was 15-20 billion dollars.

  !   Click each dot to see photographs and information about the Flood of 1993, then answer the question below.

6. Describe some of the damage done by the flood of 1993. What contributed to such a disastrous flooding event?

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