Floods at the Confluence of the Missouri River & Mississippi River - St. Louis County, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 38° 48.826 W 090° 07.585
15S E 749502 N 4300033
Quick Description: This marker records the floods of 1951, 1973, 1993, and 1995. 1993, is the top of the 15 foot high pole.
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 4/19/2014 5:24:58 AM
Waymark Code: WMKHZD
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member lumbricus
Views: 3

Long Description:

County of mark: St. Louis County
Location of mark: Confluence of the Missouri & Mississippi rivers, Columbia Bottoms C.A., St. Louis County
Mark erected: 1997
Mark erected by: Missouri Department of Conservation

Explorer's Note:
How deep was the floodwater of 1993 at this spot?
The tip of the 15-foot pole above you marks the water level.

Three historic markers are around the base of the flood mark, and all have to do with the floods, the river and Lewis & Clark:
Where the Rivers Merge text:
Early explorers marveled at the vast resources along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. Boatmen reported fish large enough to upset canoes and described fertile wetlands arranged along the river edges as pearls on a necklace. Just as you are here, people have always been drawn to this powerful place.

River use changed over the centuries and the Missouri River and Mississippi River were altered to meet demands. Riverboats loaded with people no longer travel the streams. Instead, roadways line the banks to bring explorers back to the beauty of the river. Many needs have shaped the rivers that now flow past dams and levees for controlling floods. Waters float barges loaded with grain and coal, meet the needs of agriculture and generate electricity. The rivers are priceless resources.

The flood of 1993 reconnected the rivers with much of their historic floodplains, giving all within reach a new respect for the power of all rivers. Several government agencies, including the Missouri Department of Conservation, have come together with a new vision for the rivers. Their goal is to reconnect the life-giving waters with areas of floodplain. The nation is awakening to the role that people play as stewards of the great rivers.

Lewis and Clark text:

June 20, 1803.
President Thomas Jefferson's
instructions to Meriwether Lewis
on river exploration:
"The object of your mission is to explore the Missouri river, & such principal stream of it...may offer the most direct & practicable water communication across this continent, for the purpose of commerce.

"Beginning at the mouth of the Missouri, you will take observations of latitude and longitude at all remarkable points on the river, & especially at the mouths of rivers, at rapids, at islands & other places & objects distinguished by such natural marks & characters of a durable kind, as that they may with certainty be recognized hereafter. The course of the river between these points of observation may be supplied by the compass, the log-line & by time..."


William Clark and the crew departed from Wood River on May 14, 1804. Clark, the mapmaker of the team, was joined by Meriwether Lewis on May 20 in St. Charles. The expedition explored the river with the 55-foot keelboat as their largest vessel.

Historic Highway text:
May 14, 1804
"...proceded up the Missouris under Sail to the first island on the Missouri and Camped...men in high spirits."
William Clark

When Lewis and Clark passed through St. Louis, the Mississippi stretched across what is now Columbia Bottom Conservation Area. The rich lands attracted settlement for the earliest times. Marquette and Joliet, the first known European explorers to the region, noted the area and its people in 1672. Lush wetlands nurtured wildlife, fish and forests. William Clark later described a landscape composed of many grasslands and forests. The habitats as seen by Lewis and Clark are being restored to the area, so watch as the land is transformed into the wetlands, prairies and forests of 200 years ago.

"The mouth of the Missouri River was at first thought to be a good site for commercial development, and the would-be town of Columbia, Missouri was platted on the south bank of the confluence. However, the wetland character of the site made it sub-optimal for development. At a later point the site was re-platted as St. Vrain, Missouri, but both developments were fated to become ghost towns by 1870, and it is not known how many inhabitants either community had.
Following the failure of the ghost towns, the Columbia Bottom reverted to being wet-footed but fertile farmland. The current conservation area was formed in 1997 as a result of the land condemnations that followed the Great Flood of 1993. Patches of the area continued to be managed by the private sector as agricultural land as of 2011.
The nearest limited access highway exit is Exit 34 on Interstate 270, at the northern tip of the city of St. Louis. From this exit it is 2.8-mile (4.5 km) north on Columbia Bottom Road to the entrance to the conservation area.
Admission to the conservation area was free as of 2011. A parking lot and graveled overlook, completed in 2002, provided access to the river confluence, and a visitor center, completed in 2004, stood close to the entrance." ~ Wikipedia

Natural or man made event?: Natural

What type of marker?: historic and water line pole

When did this occur?: 1951, 1973, 1993 & 1995

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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