Floodwaters Retreat from Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway
acquired June 4, 2011 download large image (3 MB, JPEG, 2000x4000)
acquired June 4, 2011 download GeoTIFF file (15 MB, TIFF, 2000x4000)
Floodwaters Retreat from Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway
acquired May 3, 2011 download large image (3 MB, JPEG, 2000x4000)
acquired May 3, 2011 download GeoTIFF file (13 MB, TIFF, 2000x4000)
acquired May 3 - June 4, 2011 download Google Earth file (KML)

On May 2, 2011, to relieve pressure from record flooding along the Mississippi River, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers breached a levee near Cairo, Illinois. As a result, water inundated the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway. Water lingered in the floodway through May, visible in an astronaut photo on May 12, and a satellite image on May 20. By early June, however, flood waters had receded.

The Thematic Mapper on the Landsat 5 satellite captured these natural-color images on June 4, 2011 (top), and May 3, 2011 (bottom). The images are rotated, and north is at right. In early May, muddy water fills the floodway. Water has also spilled onto other floodplains along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. In early June, much of the floodway has dried out, and croplands form a checkerboard pattern west of the Mississippi River.

In breaching three sections of the levee near Cairo on May 2, the Army Corps operated the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway for the first time since 1937. The floodway is enclosed by setback levees designed to confine the water to the designated area. The Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway is one of a series of floodways along the Mississippi River aimed at flood mitigation.

  1. References

  2. Rochette, S. (2011, May 2). USACE operates New Madrid floodway to control flooding. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Accessed June 8, 2011.

NASA Earth Observatory image created by Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon, using Landsat data provided by Julia Barsi of the Landsat Project Science Office. Landsat is jointly managed by the U.S. Geological Survey and NASA. Caption by Michon Scott.

Instrument(s): 
Landsat 5 - TM

Floodwaters Retreat from Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway

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More in this Event (view all)
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Early Spring Floods in Indiana High Waters along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers Rising Waters on the Mississippi River Rising Waters on the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers Rising Waters on the James River Retreating Snow and Advancing Water in the Upper Midwest Receding Snow Sets Stage for Floods near Fargo Spring Flooding in the Upper Midwest Rising Rivers in the U.S. Midwest Rising Waters along the Red River Spring Floods in Saskatchewan Spring Flooding in Manitoba Heavy Rain in Central United States Flooding along the Mississippi River Continued Flooding along the Mississippi Flooding along the James River, South Dakota Flooding in Wake of Levee Breach Spring Floods in the U.S. Midwest and Canada Flooding along the Wabash and Ohio Rivers Flooding at the Junction of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers Floods Spread South along the Mississippi River High Waters along the Mississippi River Floods Continue along the Mississippi River Flooding Continues along the Red River Flooding in Memphis Flooding in Arkansas Flooding reaches Vicksburg, Mississippi Morganza Floodway, 1973 Floodwaters near Natchez Rising Waters on the Lower Mississippi Morganza Spillway Opens in Louisiana Mississippi Floods in Arkansas and Tennessee Mississippi Floods in Missouri and Tennessee Flooding near New Madrid, Missouri Water in the Morganza Floodway Morganza Floodway after Five Days of Flow Mississippi Floods near Vicksburg Sediment Plume in Lake Pontchartrain Lingering Floods along the Mississippi River Lower Mississippi River Remains Swollen Waters Spread Across Floodway above Morgan City Lay of the Land Between Old River and the Mississippi Floodwaters Recede along Wabash and Ohio Rivers Floodwaters Retreat from Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway Lingering Floods in Louisiana Morganza Floodway Lingering Floodwaters near Vicksburg, Mississippi Sediment from the Mississippi Floods Sediment in the Gulf of Mexico Floods Recede around the Wabash-Ohio Confluence
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