View from above shows fury below
Posted: Friday, April 29, 2011 9:21 pm
By: By Kevin Bowden, Messenger Staff Reporter
The Messenger 04.29.11
By KEVIN BOWDEN
From 3,000 feet in the air and soaring around the region in a Cessna 170, you get a true sense of Mother Nature’s mighty power.
Local pilot Gordon Wade provided the aerial transportation for The Messenger Thursday morning and the views from above were nothing short of spectacular.
After days of thick storm clouds that have blanketed the region, Thursday’s clear skies provided a prime opportunity to check out just how bad the flooding is across the area.
Hazardous weather conditions are expected to move back into the area by Saturday when there is a 60 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. The National Weather Service has forecast up to three-quarters of an inch of rain overnight and then on Sunday the chance of rain goes to 70 percent.
All this rain locally is a real problem for a landscape that is already saturated, but it is the rain further north that is causing the Mississippi and Ohio rivers to swell.
From the air, the Mighty Mississippi is a milky brown flow of water that has extended far beyond its banks and into adjacent fields.
Thursday’s photo flight began with a survey of Obion and then we navigated west to the Mississippi River and followed it north all the way to New Madrid, Mo.
There were a few barges weaving their way along the river. The river current moves swiftly and powerfully, while the river banks are cluttered with debris that has been swept downstream with the flooding.
The Mississippi River’s path from Cairo, Ill., through the region takes a winding, twisting and turning route. From the air, the extent of the flooding is overwhelming.
When you consider there is more rain coming, it’s difficult to comprehend just how widespread the flooding could get.
Residents of Fulton County, Ky., are concerned, as are residents of the Samburg area, Lake County and Dyer County.
As we made our way up the Mississippi River, the farther north we traveled the worse the flooding got. Several farm operations and houses were surrounded by floodwater and there were so many roads that were sandwiched by rising waters. Floodwaters were framing the western border of New Madrid, Mo., and Hickman, Ky., was more water than land.
So far the levee there has held, but plans are in place to deal with the flooding if its gets much worse.
After the area’s recent drought, these spring floods are causing major problems throughout the entire region. The situation with the flood level in Cairo is pivotal in determining what steps are next to deal with the flooding.
For now though, officials are watching and waiting, and hoping the floodwaters recede before drastic measures have to be employed.
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
aerial, Cairo, flooding, Fulton County, Hickman, Ill., Ky.