Albert Einstein said: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” You could say the Mississippi River Commission (MRC) is insane. It built levees to control floods from 1879 to 1928. The great flood of 1927 showed that “levees only” didn’t work. So, Congress tried something different.
I arrived at the ag museum for the recent One Lake meeting about 15 minutes before kickoff. There was a long slow-moving line at the door. No tailgaters. But people were working the crowd. They were “one-river-no-lake” advocates with a handout explaining why they oppose One Lake. There are several reasons.
The Titanic ran into an iceberg, and sank. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has run into a “Mudberg,” and its reputation is sinking. Mudberg is a 30-foot-high mound of sediments in the Mississippi River above Baton Rouge that restricts its flow.
I testified about flooding on the Mississippi before the Mississippi River Commission in Greenville last month. Readers with properties on the river, its oxbow lakes, and tributaries may be surprised to learn why they flood. It’s the bottlenecks.
At the height of the nuclear arms race, the U.S. and the old USSR reached stalemate. Mutually Assured Destruction. Each side could destroy the other. So, neither launched the first missile. Both eventually reduced their arsenals. No nuclear disasters so far. (“Dr. Strangelove” was fiction.)
The Mississippi River crested over nine feet above flood stage at Natchez on March 17 — higher than the epic 1927 flood which put the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the flood control business. The 2011 crest was even higher. Four of the five highest floods have happened since 2008.