Panorama of Mississippi River flood crest at Memphis - May, 2011
Disaster sells, obviously
Four of the most read posts on Joe Spake’s Weblog in 2011 were directly related to this year’s record flooding on the Mississippi River from the Memphis perspective. Interestingly the 6th most read post, about the Memphis ice storm of 1994, was written in January of 2010, and has been read consistently ever since (Maybe I accidentally worked some SEO magic.) Here are the Joe Spake’s Weblog Top 10 for 2011:
4. Why I am not following you back on Twitter (June 19, 2011) – It seems that everyone wants to get involved in Twitter, but few want to put forth the effort to engage. Think back to how much Twitter has been in the news, or actually shaped news in 2011. The growth of the 140 character messaging system will continue.
The River was at a low ebb on October 13, 2011 – 0.10 feet on the Memphis Gauge – 48 feet lower vertically than in May, the difference in height equivalent to a 4 story building. In the next few days the river stage dropped to -2 feet before starting to rise some. Zero does not mean the River is empty – that is just the benchmark for low water, a point that navigation can be affected. The record low water at Memphis was -10.7 feet in 1988. The River and riverfront look quite different at low water. The cobblestone bank runs out, sandbars, and river current control structures, pile and rock dikes are clearly visible. Seeing the river at this low stage, it’s hard to even imagine what it looked like in May. Here is a slide show:
Friday, May 27, the Mississippi River at Memphis dropped below the flood stage of 34 feet for the first time since April 26, 2011. The picture above was taken at the River’s crest of 47.8 feet, the second highest in recorded history. The area still has a massive cleanup ahead. Many homes are total losses, uninhabitable, or face extensive repairs. Memphis seems to be returning back to normal, as evidenced by the reopening of Tom Lee park, which was inundated 2 weeks ago, for Memphis in May’s final event, the Sunset Symphony. Continue reading →