NASA Releases New Images of Mississippi River Flooding

BY Vanessa Dennis  May 10, 2011 at 7:10 PM EST

NASA’s Earth Observatory has released new before and after images of the Mississippi River flooding around Memphis.

The Mississippi River reached 47.87 feet in Memphis on Tuesday.

Memphis on April 21, 2010 (click to enlarge)

Memphis on May 10, 2011 (click to enlarge):


Here’s more from NASA Earth Observatory: The Thematic Mapper on Landsat 5 captured the image on May 10, 2011, and the image (showing non-flooded conditions) on April 21, 2010. Both images are natural color and show the area as it would look to the human eye. In May 2011, muddy water has pushed over the Mississippi’s banks both east and west of the normal river channel. Flood waters span the distance between Memphis and West Memphis, and also fill a floodplain extending to an industrial park northwest of Treasure Island.

The Mississippi River Basin is the third largest in the world, after the Amazon and Congo. Managing floods along the river has challenged engineers for more than a century. As of May 10, 2011, the AHPS reported major flooding along the Mississippi from Cairo, Illinois, to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Springtime flooding also plagued other parts of the continental United States, including areas along the Red River and in New England.