Lingering Floods along the Mississippi River
acquired May 20, 2011 download large image (8 MB, JPEG, 8192x4552)
Lingering Floods along the Mississippi River
acquired April 14, 2011 download large image (7 MB, JPEG, 8192x4552)
acquired May 20, 2011 download Google Earth file (KMZ)

As attention focused on the Mississippi River’s water levels around New Orleans, water levels remained high to the north. Water lingered in the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway weeks after the breach of a levee, and the Mississippi River remained high in places along the Arkansas-Tennessee border.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired the top image on May 20, 2011, and the bottom image on April 14, 2011. Both images use a combination of visible and infrared light to increase contrast between water and land. Water ranges in color from electric blue to navy. Vegetation is green. Bare ground is brown. Clouds are pale blue-green.

The image from April shows the Mississippi River before the levee breach that spared Cairo, Illinois, but flooded a portion of Missouri. The May 20 image shows water lingering in that floodway, as well as visibly higher water in the Mississippi River, from Illinois southward.

Although water levels were dropping slowly, floods were receding along the Mississippi River in late May 2011. On May 23, 2011, the Advanced Hydrological Prediction Service (AHPS) of the U.S. National Weather Service reported that the Ohio River was at minor flood stage in Cairo, Illinois. The AHPS reported that the Mississippi River was at minor flood stage in New Madrid, Missouri; at major flood stage in Osceola, Arkansas; and at minor flood stage in Memphis, Tennessee. Water levels were projected to decline at all locations over the next few days.

  1. References

  2. National Weather Service. Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service. Accessed May 23, 2011.

NASA images courtesy MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center. Caption by Michon Scott.

Terra - MODIS

Lingering Floods along the Mississippi River

Image Location
Image Location
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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 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