Mississippi River Flooding As Seen from the Space Station


Big Muddy, as the Mississippi River is known, looks especially big and muddy these days with record flooding occurring along the largest river in the US. The Mississippi has risen to levels not seen in since the 1920’s and 30’s, fed by heavy spring rains and the spring thaw from heavy snows in the northern US this winter. Here are some new images taken by International Space Station astronaut Paolo Nespoli, which show surprising detail of how the river has spread across farmland and through cities and towns. The image above shows the area around New Madrid, Missouri, along the border of Kentucky.

Flooding near Ridgely, Tennessee. Credit: ESA/NASA

In this image, levees are visible which are containing the flood near Ridgely, Tennessee.

Here, flooded areas from the Mississippi is about 5 miles wide. Credit: ESA/NASA
Flooding near Caruthersville, Missouri. Farmland, roads and bridges are under water. Credit: ESA/NASA

Last week, the US Army Corps of Engineers opened floodways in Missouri to keep pressure off levees protecting the town of Cairo, Illinois, flooding thousands of acres of farmland. This week, the Corp is preparing to flood up to three million acres in southern Louisiana in hopes of protecting large cities along the Mississippi River such as Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Louisiana. More than 25,000 people are preparing to leave the region before the spillways would be opened.

See more images from Nespoli on his Flickr page.

Nancy Atkinson

Nancy has been with Universe Today since 2004, and has published over 6,000 articles on space exploration, astronomy, science and technology. She is the author of two books: "Eight Years to the Moon: the History of the Apollo Missions," (2019) which shares the stories of 60 engineers and scientists who worked behind the scenes to make landing on the Moon possible; and "Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos" (2016) tells the stories of those who work on NASA's robotic missions to explore the Solar System and beyond. Follow Nancy on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Nancy_A and and Instagram at and https://www.instagram.com/nancyatkinson_ut/

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