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USGS Crews Remain On Scene in the Lower Mississippi River Basin

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USGS CoreCast

Flooding Hits Along the Mississippi River

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Flooding Spring 2011

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U.S. Geological Survey crews are measuring flooding along the Atchafalaya and Mississippi Rivers, including the Morganza and Bonnet Carre Spillways. They are collecting critical streamflow data that are vital for protection of life, property and the environment in the Lower Mississippi River. This information is used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to manage flood control, the National Weather Service to develop flood forecasts, and various state and local agencies in their flood response activities. Learn more in a video featuring USGS scientists studying waterflow in these areas. Crews continue to measure the amount of water spilling into the New Madrid floodway after the intentional breaching of the Birds Point Levee in Missouri in support of the Corps of Engineers operation. In Arkansas, scientists are monitoring extremely high floodwaters that caused a major interstate to close. When flooding happens, USGS field crews are among the first to respond. During and after storms and floods, USGS field crews measure the streamflow and height of rivers and ensure the accuracy and reliable operation of streamgages. Field crews continue to work as waters recede, gathering high water marks for post flood analysis. All this data and information is crucial for such activities as the issuance of flood warnings and characterization of flood hazards to mitigate future damages.

Example map showing flood and high flow conditions in the United States on April 26, 2011, taken from WaterWatch website. Click the map to view the most recent data.

You can keep yourself updated about water levels for the rivers and streams near you by signing up for USGS WaterAlert at, where you can receive instant customized updates about water conditions at any of the thousands of sites nationwide where the USGS collects real-time water information. When you sign up for WaterAlert, you can customize the alert so that you receive notification when water exceeds any preset threshold or goes above the flood stage at your selected streamgage. You can find detailed information about flood predictions and warnings in your area on the National Weather Service website.