The Mississippi and Missouri rivers are rising to levels in the St. Louis area that are inspiring comparisons to 1993, when floods swept across the state. But, this time, the rivers are swelling at relatively rapid rates.
If forecasts hold, the Mississippi this week will rise to levels not seen since 1993, supplanting the flood of 1973 for No. 2 in the record books. Both the Mississippi and the Missouri are expected to rise to within five feet of their historic crests by Friday.
Whereas the floods in 1993 were a product of a gradual rise in river levels, this year’s high levels have been brought on largely by a December deluge.
However, the effect on humanity is expected to be considerably different than it was in 1993, when thousands were forced from their homes. After the 1993 flood, government agencies bought more than 7,700 flooded properties in Missouri and Illinois and moved entire towns to nearby bluffs. When rivers swelled again in 1995, far fewer people were forced to flee.