The Washington Post

Mississippi river flood waters take aim at Delta states

VICKSBURG, MS - MAY 10: A home is surrounded by floodwater May 10, 2011 in Vicksburg, MS. (Scott Olson/GETTY IMAGES)

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.

Mississippi River levels in northeast Louisiana and western Mississippi compared to records and predicted crests. (National Weather Service)

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.

Jason is the Washington Post’s weather editor and Capital Weather Gang's chief meteorologist. He earned a master's degree in atmospheric science, and spent 10 years as a climate change science analyst for the U.S. government. He holds the Digital Seal of Approval from the National Weather Association.
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