Right now we are battling issues do to the continuos storms. The core of engineers wants to blow some holes in the levee to save Cairo, ILL. The Gov. of Missouri says no because it will flood 130,000 acres of land from New Madrid county, MO past Mississippi county, MO. Any thought?
In the battle between Mother Nature and engineering, eventually, Mother Nature always wins. In this case, it appears that the levees will fail somewhere on their own if the intentional hole isn't breached. I'd hate to be the people who live behind the proposed levee breach, but this sounds like a triage decision - the greatest good for the greatest number of people.
Levees cause all kinds of problems, two of which are that they prevent gradual absorption of floodwaters over a large area and that they prevent the natural silting that naturally fertilizes farm land near the river.
Well would you like to have people lossing their homes do to flooring or have some crop lands have some water standing in it . We have 1/4 of our town that citzen have water in or around their homes. My fire station has 4 foot of flood water in the basement. In 1997 the truck bays and the hole station had 18" and 90% of the city was under water. So as you can read, let the COE do their job and give us dry land.
You missed my point. If there were no levees anywhere along the river channel, then the flooding would be spread out a little bit at a time over hundreds of miles of waterway instead of concentrating it behind a hole in a levee.
Some of the most fertile crop land comes from silt deposits flowing from un-dammed rivers with no levees.
I thank you all for your comments and apologize to those who got the wrong impression about the post, I was merely opening this topic for conversation and opinions not to upset anyone. I take no sides either way, some were hurt by the levees and some weren't, that is life and like some have said mother nature always wins. To those who benifited I am happy for and wish the best for, those who may have suffered I hope things will will improve. Where I live suffered minor damage in which I am thankful but next time we may not be so lucky so we live one day at a time in the hopes to live another day.
I was just in Chicago for training last week, some people were talking about it, they thought it was wrong to blow the levee, I ask them "do you realize that is was designed for that"? the answer was NO, then the opinion they had formed suddenly changed to yes it should have been done.
I am not for flooding anyones land or home on purpose, however when you build or farm in a known flood plane you are simply running a calculated risk and playing the odds.
I understand what the people of Cairo are going through, the COE opened up a spillway in Morganza,La which will displace 25,000 people and put 11,000 structures (homes,camps) in harms way. The last time this was opened was in 1973. But if this spillway wasnt opened the major Cities of Baton Rouge and New Orleans could go under water. As of this morning they are predicting 29 feet of water in some areas and will be flooding about 3000 acres
I think the people who have farmed river-bottoms along non-leveed rivers for hundreds of years would disagree with your characterization that alluvial soils are not a Godsend.
Regardless of what you know about different soil types, it is a fact that silt deposits from floods are a natural way for the river to move silt. Building levees and other manmade modifications to rivers modify how natural forces work on the river. The Dissappeariung Louisiana wetlands in the Mississippi River delta are one example. Levee overtopping and failures are another. Dam erosion and failure are another.
Flood plains give the water a place to go and to either be absorbed or to sit temporarily until it can run off. Levees remove that possibility - thus the downstream problems with flood crests that exceed the levees' designed capacity and focusing the flood destruction in a small area instead of spreading it in smaller chunks along a much larger stretch of flood plain.
I live in a flood plain, but we made sure to have our house at least 48 inches off the ground. Our place gets flooded at least once a year, so long as my house is dry, I really don't mind it. (The highest flood mark is 46 inches at our place.)