Second year of low rain fall: Mississippi River water level significantly low

Tower Rock

Important Takeaways:

  • Water levels on the Mississippi River are plummeting for the second year in a row
  • Water levels along the Mississippi River are plummeting for the second year in a row after this summer’s blistering heat and low rainfall triggered extreme drought across parts of the Central US.
  • The low water levels have made a unique rock formation in the Mississippi River, usually surrounded by water, accessible by foot, and the Army Corps of Engineers is increasing the size of a levee in Louisiana to prevent saltwater from surging into drinking water in New Orleans.
  • The drought comes as a critical harvest season approaches and farmers across the Midwest are concerned about water supply and barge deliveries. Officials and residents along the river worry about the widespread impacts another decline could bring.
  • Exceptional drought – the worst category – has spread across parts of Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. This year has so far been the hottest on record for Louisiana and Mississippi, according to recent figures from NOAA dating through August.
  • Extreme drought is present in several states across the Midwest, including Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Missouri, according to the US Drought Monitor.
  • “Those four states have really been significantly impacted by drought since last winter, it’s just ongoing,” Wellenkamp said.

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From one extreme to another; California’s 11 atmospheric rivers bring drought depleted lakes back to capacity

Matthew 24:7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.

Important Takeaways:

  • California’s drought-plagued Lake Oroville is now 100% full after a series of powerful winter storms and melting of historically deep ice pack
  • California’s second-largest reservoir, Lake Oroville reached 100 percent capacity Monday, the product of heavy rains and melting snowpack from the surrounding mountains — all thanks to early 2023’s stunning winter storms.
  • Both Oroville and Lake Shasta, the state’s largest reservoir, have now swollen to levels not seen across four years of extreme drought, which had been depleting the state’s freshwater reserves since 2019.
  • Lake Shasta, as seen in satellite imagery from NASA’s Earth Observatory, is at 97 percent capacity with its surroundings getting greener every day.
  • The water picture changed dramatically starting this past December, due to the first of a dozen ‘atmospheric rivers’ that hit California, causing widespread flooding and damaging homes and infrastructure.
  • Atmospheric rivers, a meteorological term for high altitude ribbons of moisture, had come surging into the American this past year. One of California’s most well-known atmospheric rivers, the ‘Pineapple Express,’ begins its long journey from Hawaii.
  • The past year’s airborne ‘rivers’ dumping as many as 700 inches of snow across the Sierra Nevada mountains.
  • ‘California went from the three driest years on record to the three wettest weeks on record

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Vietnam braces for typhoon Khanun after floods kill 72

A boy paddles a boat past a flooded village's gate after a heavy rain caused by a tropical depression in Hanoi, Vietnam October 16, 2017.

HANOI (Reuters) – Vietnam braced for typhoon Khanun on Monday after destructive floods battered the country’s north and center last week, killing 72 people, the disaster prevention agency said.

Last week’s floods were the worst in years, the government and state-run Vietnam Television said, with thousands of homes submerged. Another 200 houses collapsed and several towns remain cut off by the floodwater.

The floods also damaged more than 22,000 hectares (54,300 acres) of rice.

Farmers harvest rice on a flooded field after a heavy rainfall caused by a tropical depression in Ninh Binh province, Vietnam October 14, 2017.

Farmers harvest rice on a flooded field after a heavy rainfall caused by a tropical depression in Ninh Binh province, Vietnam October 14, 2017. REUTERS/Kham

Vietnam is the world’s third-largest exporter of rice and the second-biggest producer of coffee, although the floods have not affected the Southeast Asian nation’s coffee belt.

Eighteen people from the hardest-hit province of Hoa Binh in the north were buried by a landslide, but only thirteen bodies have been found, Vietnam’s disaster agency said.

The government has said it is fixing dykes, dams and roads damaged by last week’s flood and is preparing for typhoon Khanun, which is expected to cause heavy rain in northern and central Vietnam from Monday.

It has also warned ships and boats to avoid the approaching typhoon.

Vietnam is prone to destructive storms and flooding due to its long coastline. A typhoon wreaked havoc across central provinces last month.

Floods have also affected nine out of 77 provinces in Thailand, Vietnam’s neighbor to the west. Three people had been killed in flooding since last Tuesday, Thailand’s disaster agency said on Monday.

The Thai capital, Bangkok, was hit by heavy rain at the weekend, with gridlocked traffic bringing parts of the city to a standstill. Bangkok has often been described as the “Venice of the East” because of its many waterways.

However, the floods prompted criticism of Bangkok’s city government, with some social media users accusing authorities of not managing water levels in canals properly.

The city government defended itself, saying it was working closely with the irrigation department. Thailand suffered its worst flood in five decades in 2011, with hundreds of people killed, industrial estates engulfed and key industries crippled.


(Reporting by Mai Nguyen in HANOI; Additional reporting by Amy Sawitta Lefevre and Panarat Thepgumpanat in BANGKOK; Editing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre and Paul Tait)