Mississippi River - 1993 - St. Louis, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Chasing Blue Sky
N 38° 37.435 W 090° 11.070
15S E 745106 N 4278804
Quick Description: High water mark of the Mississippi River on August 1, 1993 in St. Louis, Missouri.
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 7/25/2012 5:50:22 AM
Waymark Code: WMEYZ9
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member lumbricus
Views: 8

Long Description:
This high level water mark plaque is located between the Gateway Arch and the Mississippi River, on the south end of the grand steps between them. The plaque reads:

AUGUST 1, 1993

THE BOTTOM OF THIS PLAQUE INDICATES THE HIGH WATER MARK OF THE GREAT FLOOKD OF 1993. ON THIS DATE THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER REACHED 49.58 FEET, THE HIGHEST LEVEL EVER RECORDED IN THE CITY OF ST. LOUIS.


NOAA/National Weather Service had this to say about the Great Flood of 1993:

"1993 midwest flood was one of the most significant and damaging natural disasters ever to hit the United States. Damages totaled $15 billion, 50 people died, hundreds of levees failed, and thousands of people were evacuated, some for months. The flood was unusual in the magnitude of the crests, the number of record crests, the large area impacted, and the length of the time the flood was an issue.

The magnitude and severity of this flood event was simply over-whelming, and it ranks as one of the greatest natural disasters ever to hit the United States. Approximately 600 river forecast points in the Midwestern United States were above flood stage at the same time. Nearly 150 major rivers and tributaries were affected. It was certainly the largest and most significant flood event ever to occur in the United States.

Tens of thousands of people were evacuated, some never to return to their homes. At least 10,000 homes were totally destroyed, hundreds of towns were impacted with at least 75 towns totally and completely under flood waters. At least 15 million acres of farmland were inundated, some of which may not be useable for years to come.

Transportation was severely impacted. Barge traffic on the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers was stopped for nearly 2 months. Bridges were out or not accessible on the Mississippi River from Davenport, Iowa, downstream to St. Louis, Missouri. On the Missouri River, bridges were out from Kansas City, downstream to St. Charles, Missouri. Numerous interstate highways and other roads were closed. Ten commercial airports were flooded. All railroad traffic in the Midwest was halted. Numerous sewage treatment and water treatment plants were destroyed (Larson, 1993).

Significant rainfall in June and July in the Upper Midwest, combined with wet soil conditions, was the cause of severe flooding in the Upper Mississippi River basin. In mid-June, 8 inches of precipitation fell across the Upper Midwest. This resulted in flooding on rivers in Minnesota and Wisconsin and eventually pushed the Mississippi River to a crest at St. Louis on July 12th of about 43 feet, equaling the previous stage of record.
In early July, Iowa was hit with numerous record rainfalls. Storm totals of up to 8 inches were again common. Record flooding occurred on the Skunk, Iowa, and Des Moines Rivers. The city of Des Moines, Iowa, was particularly hard hit by flooding on July 9th. The flow from these rivers combined with already near-record flows on the Mississippi River to push the stage at St. Louis up to a new record high stage of 47 feet on July 20th.

In mid to late July, heavy rains began further west in North Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri. Record flooding began on rivers in Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The Missouri River crested at 48.9 feet at Kansas City on July 27th breaking the previous record crest, set in 1951, by 2.7 feet. This crest pushed on down the Missouri River setting new records at Boonville, Jefferson City, Hermann, St. Charles, and other locations. This record flow joined the already full Mississippi River just north of St. Louis, and pushed the Mississippi to another record crest of 49.47 feet at St. Louis on August 1st (Parrett, 1993). In all, 92 locations set new record crests during the Great Flood of 1993.

Finally, it should be recognized that this flood event was so big, it simply overwhelmed everyone and everything. As Mark Twain said a hundred years ago, the Mississippi River "cannot be tamed, curbed or confined.....you cannot bar its path with an obstruction which it will not tear down, dance over and laugh at"." (visit link)
Natural or man made event?: Natural

What type of marker?: Wall Plaque

When did this occur?: August 1, 1993

Website related to the event..: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:
A picture showing the level along with any markers telling of what had occurred can be used. Better yet would be a picture of you or someone standing next to the high level mark, that would show if you would have been just wading or completely submersed.
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Recent Visits/Logs:
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The Snowdog visited Mississippi River - 1993 - St. Louis, MO 10/6/2018 The Snowdog visited it
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Chasing Blue Sky visited Mississippi River - 1993 - St. Louis, MO 4/25/2012 Chasing Blue Sky visited it

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