Anniversary of an historic Mississippi River flood - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Anniversary of an historic Mississippi River flood

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)

In recent days the Mississippi River has risen above flood stage at many points along its path, including Memphis. 

It is expected to crest at 36 feet on May 12, putting it two feet above flood stage.  

Flooding along the river has created some problems but overall it's been minor for most areas. However, it has been a reminder of a devastating flood not so long ago.  

In May 2011 the Mississippi River reached levels that hadn't been surpassed for decades. There was flooding along the river from Illinois to Louisiana.  That flooding included Memphis where the river stretched more than six miles wide from it's normal width of about a mile.  

On May 10, 2011 the river stage at Memphis crested just over 14 feet above flood stage, reaching 48.03 feet.  Tom Lee Park was underwater, forcing the Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest to be moved to Tiger Lane.  

About 1,300 homes were evacuated in Memphis and thousands more along the river's path.  

The flooding was due to four successive storms in the month of April that produced massive amounts of rainfall in the Mississippi River drainage basin combining with rapid snow melt from heavy snow pack farther upstream.  

All of this water ultimately flowed into the Mississippi River, creating one of the greatest floods in recorded history. 

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