The swollen Misssissippi river and its tributaries have already swamped 3 million acres of Arkansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi. In Arkansas alone, more than a million acres of farmland have been inundated the state farm bureau said. Now the waters are converging on Mississippi River Delta, setting new water level records along the way.
In Natchez, Miss., a new water level record was set this morning while the river continues to rise. The river rose to 58.3 feet, exceeding the old record of 53.04 feet from 1937. With waters expected to rise through May 21, the National Weather Service predicts the river will crest at 64 feet.
Flood stage in Natchez is 48 feet.
Just to the north, Vicksburg, Miss. is forecast set a new record when the river reaches its crest next week. The NWS projects the river will rise to 57.5 feet on May 19, more than a foot above its record crest of 56.2 feet from 1927. It’s currently at 53 feet, whereas flood stage is 43 feet.
In Louisiana, from Baton Rouge to New Orleans, water levels were at or above flood stage and rising. Baton Rouge’s level was 42.4 feet this morning, more than seven feet above flood stage. The river is forecast to crest there at 47.5 feet on May 22. New Orleans was exactly at flood stage reaching17 feet and is forecast to crest at 19.5 feet on May 23 . Levees protect the city to the 20 foot stage.
The historic flooding along the Mississippi is a result of record rainfall over portions of central U.S. and Ohio Valley in April.