Saturday, May 21, 2011

Perhaps Final Flooding Report

In bright sunlight, the Vatican statue of the Nile River, with all his little cubits.  Our own Old Man Mississippi cubits also are looking as tame as these restored ones.  It doesn't matter that the sculpture is not easy to study in such a photo as this, since it is so heavily restored.
Actually, it is nice to report that the Mississippi flood looks like being successfully managed, though it would be foolish to assume that a saturated levee can be trusted to hold firm for another couple of weeks. So far as I know, only parts of Vicksburg down here are actually flooded.  I waited this evening till the 10pm news was complete and can report that some folks are taking crawfish wild, that some farmers, owing to heat and drought, were able to harvest Spring wheat before the fields were inundated and hope, if the waters recede and evaporate quickly enough, to plant another crop or two.  Between assiduous work on the levees built after the 1927 flood, and the judicious use of the spillways, and the thirst of the drought-dry Atchafalaya basin, this flood may have been managed—though who am I to say, a Californian from away back?  Anyhow, the local TV stations no longer seem very anxious about it.  There remain the towns nearer the gulf, but already the crest measurements have been reduced in their forecast, and that is great.  Anyhow, we'll be watching our little cubits.  I understand that one can get a good view looking west over the basin from the top of our State Capitol, climbing and driving on the levees being forbidden, but, hey, it's too darned HOT.
I don't say that there won't be loss and damage, but nothing like the chaos that was Katrina.  I almost am afraid to believe that all will be, if not well, not so bad down by Morgan City.  And I'll be interested to see what this will have done to the salt and fresh water balance down there.
That the flood event is a real and serious one is plain from the frightening speed of the current.