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The Great Mississippi River Flood of 2011 crested at Memphis in the wee hours Monday night-Tuesday morning and has begun to recede. Thousands of people are in shelters, and cleanup/restoration will likely take months. A good single source of information from the local level can be found at MemphisFlood.com.
The next big question is whether or not the Corps of Engineers will open the Morganza Spillway. Located upstream from Baton Rouge, the Morganza gates, if opened (for only the second time ever) would relieve pressure on the Old River Control Structure as well as on Baton Rouge and New Orleans themselves. See this story from NOLA.com on the anticipated impacts to New Orleans if Morganza is NOT opened. NOLA.com is a good source for flood information as the crest moves south.
What can you continue to expect from us? Regular updates on what we've gathered from Twitter, Google Alerts, and other sources will be posted to Facebook at www.facebook.com/RiverLifeUMN. We will also, provide updates on key developments to this blog every couple of days, and will notify you about updates to our River Atlas that will allow you to pinpoint where all of the action is. And, as I can find time, I'll pass along reflective analyses of some emerging trends in the flood discussion that are pointing us in longer term directions.
I think there's no question that this flood season, like the 1993 floods that devastated so much of the Midwest and middle sections of the Mississippi, will shape policy, planning, and research decisions for years to come. Our suite of digital platforms, we hope, will allow you early "listens"to those discussions and the chance to join in.
The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author(s) and not necessarily
of the Institute on the Environment/University of Minnesota.