Mississippi River at Baton Rouge to reach highest level in six years
BATON ROUGE - The Mississippi River is soon expected to crest in Baton Rouge at its highest level in six years.
As of Monday morning, the river level was at 39 feet in Baton Rouge, above the flood stage of 35 feet. River warnings are in place from Illinois to Reserve, La. The river is expected to crest at 41 feet by the end of this week.
What hydrologists call "major flooding" is expected with the river cresting at level. All river islands between Baton Rouge and Red River Landing will be inundated, river traffic will be significantly affected and parts of the old LSU campus will become soggy near the veterinary medical buildings and ball fields.
Agricultural operations on the west side of the Mississippi River will not be affected unless the river level rises to 43 feet and the City of Baton Rouge is protected by levees to about 49 feet.
In the last two years, the river has crested at 38 feet. The last time the river crested at 41 feet or higher was in 2011 at 45 feet.
Mississippi River drainage basin | Via National Park Service
The Mississippi River has the third largest drainage basin in the world, exceeded in size only by the watersheds of the Amazon and Congo Rivers. It drains 41 percent of the 48 contiguous states of the United States. The basin covers more than 1,245,000 square miles, includes all or parts of 31 states and two Canadian provinces.
Rainfall since April 16 | via WeatherBELL
More than 100 trillion gallons of water has drained into the Mississippi River in the last 30 days—enough to fill Lake Pontchartrain approximately 4,000 times. Much of the water is thanks to more than 12” of rain in parts of Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma over that time period.
You can get the latest river forecasts, HERE.