Walt's Look Around: MS River Basin Model - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Walt's Look Around: MS River Basin Model

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: Anthony Jones Source: Anthony Jones
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

There is a piece of Mississippi History hidden in the undergrowth that is in the process of coming back alive. It is the old Mississippi River Basin Model once used by the Corp of Engineers to predict flooding on the Mississippi River.

But over the past couple of decades it has become awash in undergrowth. But that is about to change.

Last Saturday a group of volunteers, all under the banner of the Friends of the Mississippi River Basin Model, hauled out chainsaws and weed eaters and loaded up two dumpsters the city of Jackson set up for them at the back side of Buddy Butts Park on McRaven Road, with the goal of eventually getting this thing exposed so people can see it again.

Sarah McEwen with Waggoner Engineering is one of the people involved. 

“The river basin model is a 200-acre to-scale physical model of the Mississippi River Basin," said Sarah. "It was built by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to run simulations and experiments of flooding conditions throughout the MS River Basin, to simulate what the flood was and where it would go and how they could protect against it.”

All of that simulation is done on computers today. But this was the best they had before, and it worked very well. And the origins of the model has a special history.

The original grading of the land where the model was eventually built started during World War Two by German POW’s at Camp Clinton. The actual finished model, 10 foot by 10 foot molded concrete slabs with the intricate relief structures of the Mississippi River and all of its tributaries, was finally put into operation in the 1960s.

This thing is huge. The most exposed part of it is the part that represents the Mississippi Delta. It’s like a giant map. And if you are familiar with the river, you can pick out places and tributaries and where towns are. The Basin Model is a piece of history. 

“It was made a Mississippi Landmark in 1993," added Sarah. "But after that point the vegetation grew up and you couldn’t see it and people just never knew what it was.”

Well, the goal of the Friends of the Mississippi River Basin Model is it to have it known again. And make it the centerpiece of a recreation and tourism complex.

“This is the time. We need to do something now. We can’t let this continue to degrade,” said Sarah.

There will be on-going Saturday clean up days. You or your group, are invited to participate to help hack a piece of history out of the woods and given a place of recognition. To keep up with clean up days and other information, go to the “Friends of the Mississippi River Basin Model” Face Book Page.

Copyright 2016 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly