The U.S. Geological Survey released this prediction of flood crests compiled by the National Weather Service on May 4, 2011.
The USGS is also collecting data from flood points along the Mississippi to further enhance the predictions to maintain the highest levels of safety downstream.
“In order to protect lives and property during flooding the federal government, states, emergency managers and communities need to have the best information possible to understand how the water will react when a levee breaks,” said Bob Holmes, USGS National Flood Hazard Coordinator. “While flood measurements are never routine, the recent breaching of the levee at Birds Point and the rush of the Mississippi River into the New Madrid floodway calls for highly unusual flow measurements – information that is a key part of management actions to alleviate upstream flooding in the vicinity of Cairo, Ill. and other areas along the Mississippi River.”
“While the USGS routinely monitors and documents flooding and provides the streamflow information needed to inform developmental plans and land use decisions, this documentation effort below the levee is extraordinary for its scope, intensity and innovative use of new technologies,” said Holmes. “USGS has a unique opportunity to collect data that increases our understanding of the hydraulics of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. This data will be critical in future flood forecasts.”