In the summer of 1993, heavy rains in the Midwest caused the Mississippi, the
Missouri, and several other rivers to overflow their banks. The vast upper
Mississippi floodplain, which drains more than a third of the nation's runoff,
was completely inundated. The resulting flood covered millions of acres of
farmlands and destroyed entire towns. The unusual weather pattern was the major
cause of the flood.
Other factors may have contributed to the devastation,
including the decision in the 1930s to have the Army Corps of Engineers
re-route the Mississippi River and build a series of dams and levees to hold
the river to its new course. Through interviews with civil engineers, flood
survivors, floodplain management officials, and others, NOVA examines the Great
Flood of 1993, probes the issues generated by the flooding, and explores what
might be done to decrease future flood losses.