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Mississippi River Flows into Lake Pontchartrain

May 20, 2011
Mississippi River

The swollen Mississippi River is flowing into Lake Pontchartrain from the Bonnet Carré Spillway.

I’ve been mesmerized by this swollen Mississippi River for the last couple weeks. It’s a reminder that shit really does flow downhill. Or, rather, coconuts, which is what I saw bobbing through the water as I watched the moon rise last Sunday night.

Mississippi River flows into Lake Pontchartrain

The Mississippi River flows into Lake Pontchartrain. Props to NASA for being above the flight path of the local airport and being able to take this snazzy photo.

The Mississippi River is being diverted into Lake Pontchartrain as the Bonnet Carré Spillway is opened for the first time since 2008. The Morganza Spillway was opened too for the first time since 1973. It’s been interesting to read flood preparations posted to city websites, such as where to lead your cattle, and how to package your medications. The Atchafalaya River and the Mississippi River have been pushing each other around for many years, and man has been trying rather unsuccessfully to control Mother Nature. The Atchafalaya Basin is flooded, and lives are interrupted.

If you have time for 27 pages of southern goodness, check out this story in the New Yorker about the Atchafalaya. Great characters, and amazing to see how long we’ve tried to control the water.

One Comment leave one →
  1. May 21, 2011 5:33 pm

    Check out the book The Control of Nature by John McPhee…a little insight on the Old River Control structure and few other interesting tid bits of natural science, engineering, and mother nature.


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