Mississippi River

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Rare Winter Flood Kills at Least 18 in Missouri, Illinois

It's shaping up to be the second-worst flood on record

(Newser) - A rare winter flood pushed swollen rivers and streams to virtually unheard-of heights Tuesday, sparking widespread evacuations. Inmates were transferred from an Illinois state prison, and Missouri's governor activated the National Guard to help divert traffic away from submerged roads. The US Army Corps of Engineers said water from... More »

Study: What May Have Doomed America's 'First City'

Massive floods may have led to demise of Cahokia, site of modern St. Louis

(Newser) - For Native Americans living in the 12th century, Cahokia was the place to be. Now researchers think they've uncovered a major reason why the hub located near what is now St. Louis disappeared—massive flooding of the Mississippi River. Researchers dug up soil samples from two local lakes and... More »

Explorers to Canoe for 9 Months— Upstream

Gulf-to-Arctic canoe journey has never been undertaken before

(Newser) - Paddling a canoe for up to 12 hours a day, sometimes while covered in ice, may not be every person's idea of a good time, but for six outdoor adventurers, that's exactly what they'll be doing until September. Iowans Luke Kimmes and Jarrad Moore, along with four... More »

Mississippi Sees 3rd Gator Record in a Week

Latest alligator caught weighs in at 741.5 pounds

(Newser) - Last week, Mississippi saw its state record for heaviest alligator broken—twice on the same day . And yesterday, a third hunter broke the record yet again. The gator caught by Dalco Turner weighed in at 741.5 pounds, breaking the previous record of 727 pounds, the Clarion-Ledger reports. The beast... More »

Flooding Rivers Imperil the Heartland

Mississippi River projected to peak 11 feet above flood stage

(Newser) - The Heartland is under water, with today's expected rain and snow adding to the woes of already-flooded parts of the Midwest, CNN reports. Rising river waters have caused four deaths, forced evacuations in Illinois, and are threatening Missouri, Iowa, Indiana, North Dakota, Mississippi, and Michigan as well. The Mississippi... More »

Mississippi River Shut Down After Oil Barge Crash

Investigators not sure how large spill is

(Newser) - Oil spilled into the Mississippi River yesterday when a barge carrying 80,000 gallons of it hit a railroad bridge in Vicksburg, Miss., the AP reports. Investigators don't know how much oil spilled, but a sheen was reported as far as three miles downriver. A second barge owned by... More »

Salt Water Oozes Into Not-So-Mighty Mississippi

New Orleans' water supply at risk

(Newser) - The drought isn't just stranding boats on the Mississippi , it's turning the river salty. The low outflow is allowing saltwater from the Gulf of Mexico to creep upstream at a rate of around a mile day, NPR reports. Some Louisiana cities have already been forced to buy water... More »

97 Boats Stranded on Sluggish Mississippi

Drought causing ships to run aground in vital artery

(Newser) - The drought is drying up the mighty Mississippi as well as farmers' fields. An 11-mile stretch of the river has been closed due to low water levels, stranding 97 boats while dredging is carried out, and navigation markers are replaced, CBS reports. Officials say it's not clear when the... More »

Mississippi River Drying Up

Shipping industry shivers at the thought

(Newser) - The worst US drought in 50 years is making the mighty Mississippi River dry up and could curb shipping there altogether, reports Time . Dry conditions mean narrower, shallower passageways, so shippers are lightening their loads to avoid running aground. That could be huge, because 60% of the country's grain... More »

Photo Album Worth $4.5M

Historic Henry Peter Bosse images show river in 1880s

(Newser) - Few have heard of Henry Peter Bosse, but his 19th-century photographs have earned a home in a federal vault—and a single album is worth $4.5 million. Sotheby's recently appraised the album, which illustrates the changing Mississippi River in the 1880s, and its value had quadrupled over 20... More »

Man Rides Entire Mississippi—by Paddleboard

Dave Cornthwaite traveled more than 2,300 miles on the water

(Newser) - A British man has conquered the 2,300-plus miles of the Mississippi, with only a stand-up paddleboard to keep him moving. Dave Cornthwaite, 31, has earned himself a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for his journey from Elk Lake, Minn., to the Gulf of Mexico, the Huffington... More »

Coming: Biggest Ever Dead Zone in Gulf of Mexico

Due to chemical runoff from farms along the Mississippi

(Newser) - Chemical runoff from farms along the Mississippi create “dead zones” each year in the Gulf of Mexico—areas where nitrogen, phosphorus, and animal manure settle, feeding the algae that steals the oxygen from all other living things. This year’s record flooding will likely lead to the biggest dead... More »

Makeshift Levees Protect Homes From Flooding

Mississippi residents take matters into their own hands

(Newser) - Some homeowners are putting up a fight against the mighty Mississippi and its tributaries, notes Popular Science . The AP and Getty have remarkable images of homes near Vicksburg shielded by makeshift levees. It's "a testament to the human instinct to protect hearth and home," notes Clay Dillow.... More »

First Death Reported in Mississippi Flooding

Man, 69, dies after being pulled out of water

(Newser) - The Mississippi River flood has its first casualty: Walter Cook, 69, died today after firefighters found him clinging to the top of a fence in chest-deep water yesterday, the AP reports. He was found in Vicksburg, Mississippi, where the river is expected to crest today at 57.1 feet. Most... More »

Residents Flee Spillway Waters

Many have cleared out ahead of expected Louisiana floods

(Newser) - Butte LaRose is “like a ghost town” after yesterday’s opening of the Morganza spillway , says one resident. People started clearing out their belongings last week and most were gone by today, when the water was expected. A sign outside town warns that animals, too, are likely fleeing for... More »

Louisiana Floodgates Open for 1st Time in 38 Years

Move diverts water from the inflated Mississippi

(Newser) - Water from the inflated Mississippi River gushed through a floodgate today for the first time in nearly four decades and headed toward thousands of homes and farmland in the Cajun countryside, threatening to slowly submerge the land under water up to 25 feet deep. As the gate was raised, the... More »

Louisiana Prepares to Flood Farmland

25K people urged to evacuate ahead of spillway opening

(Newser) - Louisiana—faced with the choice of flooding farmland or risking major floods in New Orleans and Baton Rouge —is preparing to open a relief valve and swamp large areas of farmland in Cajun country. The Morganza spillway is about to be opened for the first time in 38 years... More »

Louisiana's Awful Choice: Flood Cities or Drown Farms?

One option could devastate New Orleans; the other would destroy farmland

(Newser) - In Louisiana, a terrible choice: Frantically sandbag the levees in an attempt to prevent a flood in New Orleans and Baton Rouge that could be greater than Katrina in some areas—or open a relief valve and purposely flood 200 miles of farmland, potentially destroying the livelihoods of many Louisiana... More »

Floodwaters Devastate Mississippi Delta

Rising river wipes small town off map

(Newser) - The rising Mississippi River has heaped more misery on one of the poorest regions in America. Hundreds of people have been forced from their homes in the Mississippi Delta as the floodwaters approach record levels, washing out farms and roads, the AP reports. All 300 homes in Tunica Cutoff, an... More »

Creepy Critters Flee Rising Mississippi

Animals being forced into residential areas around region

(Newser) - The Mississippi's record flooding is forcing out snakes, spiders, and other dangerous critters into Memphis and other residential areas in the region, reports ABC News . The biggest danger is probably the venomous snakes known as water moccasins or cottonmouths, which swim well and are aggressive under stress. "They... More »

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