Rivers Flow to the Sea


Bigger Pie Forum | Rivers Flow to the Sea | Kelley Williams
Gravity is a fundamental law of nature.  It makes rivers flow to the sea.  If the natural flow is blocked, there are consequences. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers blocked about 40% of the Mississippi River’s peak flow to the Gulf at Morgan City in 1964.  The delayed consequences today are unnatural floods on the Lower Mississippi.  Four of the five highest floods ever have happened since 2008 – all higher than the Great Flood of 1927.
The river has been above flood stage at Natchez eight of the last 10 years vs once in the 1950’s.  That’s when Congress enacted the 1954 Flood Control Act.  It caused the Corps to dam up Old River just above Baton Rouge.  It was a natural outlet for the Mississippi’s floods to flow to the Gulf at Morgan City via the Atchafalaya River.
The Corps replaced Old River with what is now called the Old River Control Complex.  It allows only 23% the Mississippi to flow down the shorter steeper Atchafalaya.  The other 77% meanders to the Gulf at New Orleans via the longer flatter main channel. It takes longer to discharge.  The river drops silt, rises, and backs up while it does.
The river started to rise and flood more about 1973.  It got worse over time.  The hundred-year-flood in January 2016 that closed the Mississippi deer season focused attention on the problem.  I started studying and writing about it then.  I testified about it to the Mississippi River Commission (MRC) that spring. And three more times. Mississippi’s Secretary of State testified twice.  Others testified too.  The MRC said not to worry.  It had things under control.  Nothing changed.
The third highest flood ever at Natchez last year and another January flood this year that closed the deer season

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