The unprecedented flooding of the Mississippi river on May 2, 2019 neared levels unseen since the region’s historic flood of 1993. It also surpassed it in at least one place and resulted in the forced evacuation of a town in Missouri.
Davenport, Iowa, one of the Quad Cities, and without any permanent levee or floodwall, was submerged in floodwater after the river broke through a temporary barrier earlier in the week, and it’s just one of the communities along the Mississippi experiencing a flashback of the historic ’93 flood.
Thousands of acres of farmland are inundated, and hundreds of roads are shut down. Two Mississippi River bridges (one in Illinois and another in Missouri) were also forced to close.
Parts of the Ozarks in Missouri received up to 6 inches of rain on May 1 and the morning after, causing flash floods that triggered hasty evacuations in some areas.
At least three fatalities were reported in Missouri due to the flood. The bodies of a camper and two kayakers were recovered as of this writing.
In Northern Indiana, authorities report a 2-year-old boy was killed when his mother drove past a “high water” sign in Wabash County and into a flooded road. The vehicle was swept away by the current before being completely submerged. While the mother escaped, she was unable to rescue the child.
Because of the high crest predictions, sandbagging is being done even in places with flood protection. A levee keeps back the water from the river in downtown Hannibal, Missouri, but volunteers have been adding sandbags just in case.
Because sandbagging isn’t an option at West Alton, Missouri due to the length of the levee, the residents of the city were placed under voluntary evacuation.