Flood of Biblical Proportions
A flood of Biblical proportions overtook more than a half-million acres of land in the rural Mississippi Delta for over five months in 2019 . About half of the acreage was farmland, creating devastating effects in a region where agriculture is the lifeblood of the economy. For the first time on record, many farmers were unable to plant a single crop.
Efforts to prevent flooding in the region date back to 1941 when Congress approved a backwater drainage project. The multifaceted plan included a system of levees, canals and drainage structures. But one crucial element was never installed – drainage pumps that would push floodwaters out of the backwater area and eventually into the Mississippi River.
The changing climate in 2019 led to the perfect storm in this area — a historically high Mississippi River and record rainfall created a flood unimaginable to local farmers. With another rainy winter this year, many residents are fearful of yet another record flood in 2020.