The Great Flood of 1927 = 56.2 feet Forecast for flood of 2011 = 57.5 feet

Published 11:45 am Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sandbags flew and residents ran from the rising water Monday as the Mississippi River was forecast to reach an all-time high in Vicksburg — surpassing the Great Flood of 1927 — thanks to torrential rains and storms over the weekend in the Lower Mississippi River and Ohio Valley.

The rising river stood at 46.22 feet this morning in Vicksburg, up more than a foot in 24 hours. It is expected to crest at 57.5 feet on May 18, surpassing the 1927 flood, which was recorded at 56.2 feet. If the levees had held, engineers say, the number in 1927 would have been 62 feet.

Rainfall over northern Arkansas, southern Missouri and Cairo, Ill., where the Ohio and Mississippi rivers join, received 3 to 8 inches of rain Saturday through midday Monday, said Marty Pope, senior service hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Jackson.

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“Backwater flooding on the Yazoo will increase significantly,” Pope said, adding no rain was predicted in that region until the middle of next week. “If we could get a week’s break out of this thing, it would be good.”