Mississippi River

Ignition.
Found myself standing on the Franklin Avenue Bridge in Minneapolis about 7:15 this morning. The freezing rain had slid past to our south and the temperature was in the tolerable range. I aimed the camera east and waited to see what would happen. The longer I stood there, the better the sky became.
And then just as suddenly, it was over and gone.
But I was there. I saw it. It happened. I did my best to document that particular place at that particular moment. Hope you like it.

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Prelude to Katrina: Taming the Mississippi

The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 was the worst flood in U.S. history.  Following the mass destruction caused by the flood, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers expanded the existing levee system to more than 3,500 miles, making it the longest in the world. 

The levees were meant to decrease flooding along the river, but after subsequent major floods some believe that this altering of the course of the Mississippi has increased flood damage during storms.  Levees also attempt to control the river’s ever-changing course. Channels change course due to the constant movement of sediment and erosion of banks. Compiling survey information from 1765 to the 1930’s, the map above shows changes in the river channel in the Arkansas City area.  Levees are also intended to prevent flooding from storm surges like the flooding caused by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. 

More records relating to levees on the Mississippi River can be found by searching the National Archives Catalog.

More Maps, Films and other records on Mississippi River levee construction at  Taming the Mississippi | The Unwritten Record