Mississippi River flooding – you ain’t seen nothing yet

memphis flood

Mississippi River at 34 feet - looking south from Mud Island

Last month, I did a post on the Mississippi River hitting flood stage at Memphis but it looks like this spring’s conditions  could bring us the highest water we will see during our lifetimes.   According to the National Weather Service,  we could see the highest water since 1997, by the end of the week as the river stage crosses the 40 foot mark.

river stage projection

Click image for active link

Further projections indicate that the river may hit a 44 foot stage on the Memphis guage by May 7.   This information (along with the poor condition of launching facilities)  has caused the cancellation of the 30th Annual Canoe and Kayak Race, scheduled for that date.  Considering that the image at the head of this article was taken at a river stage of 34 feet, we are going to see some dramatic results when the stage is 10 feet higher vertically.

Historic High Water Stages at Memphis

48.70 Feet 02/10/1937
45.80 Feet 04/23/1927
40.76 Feet 03/14/1997
40.50 Feet 05/08/1973
40.50 Feet 02/22/1950


This going to be an historic event.  Fortunately, most of us Memphians are perched high on the bluff. I am sure many of our river neighbors are getting the sandbags ready.

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