3 on the Road: 1927 Flood 90th Anniversary - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

3 on the Road: 1927 Flood 90th Anniversary

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
LOWER MISSISSIPPI DELTA (Mississippi News Now) -

With the Mississippi River in flood stage again right now, let's go back 90 years, to a time when an area the size of Delaware was under water in the Mississippi Delta. Back in 1927.

The Mississippi River is high again, backing water into the lower Delta and up into the Yazoo River. This is mostly because of that rainy spell in Arkansas and Oklahoma a few weeks ago.

But back in 1927, the previous summer, fall, and winter had all been wet all over the nation. And the spring of 1927 was no different. Levees were failing all up and down the Mississippi River. And on April of ‘27, the levee broke just north of Greenville at Stops Landing near Mound.

Water poured through the gap at the rate of two Niagara Falls. And from the point of the break southward, the Delta filled up like a bowl over the next few hours and days.

John Barry’s book “Rising Tide, The 1927 Flood and how it Changed America” is a must-read for history buffs. One of the outflows of the flood of ’27 is how the Federal Government responds to disasters.

In a discussion of the flood on Facebook, one of my friends reminded me that then President Coolidge did not respond to the disaster because he could find no constitutional mandate to do so.

Consequently, he didn’t even run for reelection and incoming President Hoover set a bunch of programs in motion, and more importantly set up a bunch of precedents on how the Government takes responsibility for disasters that we have grown to expect from the government today.

Oh. And here is one more souvenir of the 1927 Flood of Mississippi that we have and enjoy today, Grenada dam and lake. Enid, Sardis, and Arkabutla are all included in that category, too.

The lakes were proposed after the 27 Flood to hold back winter rainwater from rivers in the hills flowing into the Delta. They weren’t actually constructed until the 1950s because of World War Two.

So the high water on the Mississippi right now is just another of a flood of floods we’ve had to contend with and will continue to have to contend with, with 1927 being the one we are still riding the crest of as having changed America 90 years ago this year. 

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