The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. It begins in Minnesota and ends past New Orleans in the Gulf of Mexico. It was named by the Native Americans Misiziibe, meaning Great River. It has been used for hundred's of years as a source of transportation, be it during the war, for commerce, or relaxing travel aboard a paddleboat. It has been the subject of movies, books and songs.
The River is now is the spotlight again as the source of major flooding along its shores. We are all in the front row seats as history is in the making. The depths of the river have exceeded the measurements of the great flood of 1927, and still continue to rise.
If you are new to our blog, I am one of the thousands of people who live beside the Mississippi River. I live in Natchez, Mississippi, however as far as I know, am in no danger from flooding. We are on the high side of the river. On the other side, the Louisiana side, however is a different story. The current level is at 61.5 feet with the crest predicted at 63 feet on Saturday. Much of the area on that side is under water while people continue to protect the area with flood walls and sand bags. The water levels are also affecting the Natchez side by causing soil erosion and putting the historic Natchez Under the Hill area at risk.
Many areas above us have also seen catastrophic flooding. Areas like Missouri, Memphis and Vicksburg. So..where is all this water coming from? Each year the river rises around Easter due to the melting snow from the northern states. While it is expected, it hardly ever reaches flood stage. However, the large amount of snow this past winter combined with the massive amounts of rainfall have cause this epic flood.
What can you do to help?
- First and foremost keep the victims of the flood in your prayers. Many people from several states are being affected right now. Some have lost their lives, their homes, their businesses.
- Second, if you are able, donate to the Red Cross or Salvation Army to help those once the waters have subsided.
- Third, continue to watch the news to get updates on the conditions in the affected area to learn of the needs and ways you can help.
- Finally, keep negative thoughts to yourself. I have been reading comments on other sites suggesting that people who live near the river are only asking for floods, and shouldn't be there in the first place.
Areas along the Mississippi River were settled hundreds of years ago by the Native Americans. It has been a major source of hunting and fishing along with transportation for centuries. The river also feeds several tributaries which are also being affected now as well. There is no place on earth that is safe from natural disaster. Each area has the potential for catastrophy. As one poster stated, there is a potential for flood every place the rain falls.
So please be understanding, sympathetic to those in need, and help where and however you can.
Check back here Natchez Democrat to the progress of the flood in Natchez, and keep us in your prayers.