Mississippi River History: Famous Floods, Levees, & Dams

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Trailer: The valley of the Mississippi is one of the largest bodies of water on the planet. 31 states and 2 Canadian provinces drain into the Mississippi. The Missouri, Ohio, St.Frances, White, Arkansas, and Red Rivers all eventually drain into the Mississippi. It carries more freight than any other transportation route in the US. The Mississippi is not always a friend to man though. Because of the Mississippi River, Americans experienced floods and hardships in 1912, 1913, 1922, and 1927. The flood of 1927 was so bad that the Federal Government passed the Flood Control Act of 1928 to control flooding from the Mississippi. This act sent engineers and surveyors into the field to map and study the valley. Their solution was to implement thousands of miles of levees, dams, channels, and cutoffs to hold and divert water. Most importantly, both sides of the river are now lined with levees. Levees are created by clearing a large area of trees with bulldozers. Surveyors are on the job site to ensure that the construction plans meeting the engineering standards. Once the levee is built, the ground is covered with Bermuda grass, which best protects against erosion and flooding. Cutoffs were also put into the river to create a direct path, as opposed to a meandering path. Two dredgers work towards each other cutting out large pieces of earth and making the river more direct. There is a narrow strip left which will later be removed with explosives. Water will rush in and use its new shorter route. Another option to avoid the erosion factor is to line the path with sand and asphalt mix. This mix is taken from a barge, dumped into a truck and the truck puts it in a steel sled. The sled is drug, and a thin layer of non compacted asphalt is left to hold its position. Without man-made changes to the valley, the people suffered hardships. With these alterations to the Mississippi Valley, the people and businesses now prosper. See the full length video at:www.qualityinformationpublishers.com