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The causes and impacts of the 1993 Mississippi flood.

Introduction:
Since the existence of the human kind areas and lands next to or
surrounded by rivers have been inhabited. This is for one hugely important
reason, the quick and easy access to freshwater. This freshwater is needed
for obvious reasons, such as the need for lifesaving drink water, water for
the washing of laundry or cooking and even for a basic necessity like body
hygiene. But sadly this comfort costs many people a high price, which they
often end up paying for with their lives. Floods have been a catastrophe,
which since always was partly caused by the effects of humans living near
these rivers such as urbanisation, poorly built dams and deforestation. But
also partly caused by Mother Nature (snow melt, steep rivers downhill and
extreme rainfall), which sometimes unleashes her wrath on the poor
people living in the river delta for example. This piece of writing will
therefore discuss the reasons for floods caused by humans and nature with
the example of the 1993 Mississippi flood case study, and what exactly it
does to the affected people and the city they live in.
Human causes:
The human causes were sadly just as simple as they were fatal in the 1993
flooding of the Mississippi. One major problem all over the world is
Urbanization and deforestation. This major problem charged back this
time. This unfavourable phenomenon reduces infiltration rates and
interception rates, which again causes high runoff. All water whether of
rainfall or snowmelt runs right into the nearest river and gathers there.
This can cause a dramatic rise of the rivers water level. In case of the
1993 Mississippi flood this was exactly what occurred. The rivers water
level rose dramatically by the yearly rainfalls in spring. Besides did the
rising temperature of the season also cause snowmelt in the nearby high
altitude areas. It had to happen. The extreme rain saturated the grounds
and the runoff filled the Mississippi with water in an alarming rate.
Another great cause, which in the end leads to people suffering, was the
development of cities and villages on unsuitable sites and grounds. The
development of a city or a village on the side of a large river as the
Mississippi is geographically not well planned. Manny people wouldnt
have suffered from the loss of shelter and homes if they didnt have their
houses standing so close by the river. For obvious reasons it was only a
matter of time until this sort of even would happen.
The third great major cause of the tragedy caused by human hand, was
the channelization of too many parts of the river in a very narrow manner.
The very narrow built channels had to run over and cause jet streams as
the huge amounts of water rushing down hills and down the slope of
mountains were caught in them. Besides could even the very poorly built
dams they placed along the river not hold back the water masses but just
got broken and were carried with the water masses.
Natural causes:
As already mention above the season of spring had a great affect and the
rain and the snowmelt caused great runoff, which then again caused the
rivers water level to rise drastically. But also was it typical for the season
to have heavy rainfalls. And this was exactly the case in 1993. But in this
year the extreme rainfalls werent normally caused. A rare phenomenon

The causes and impacts of the 1993 Mississippi flood.


occurred, cool dry air from the south crashed into warm moist air from the
north exactly in the Mississippis airspace, causing thunderstorms with an
exceptionally high rainfall and tornado like conditions.
The second remarkable cause of the 1993 flood was the weather
conditions in the months during and past the so catastrophic spring. Even
after the end of spring and the start of summer the rain went on and on
due to the before mentioned high and low pressure air areas colliding.
However did this end up just increasing the torrential alike conditions in
the Mississippi.
As a conclusion it has to be mention at what extend this catastrophe
caused destruction and the loss of shelter, homes, school and many other
facilities. Besides it should also be mention of what calibre this natural
disaster was. According to data and measurements. About 72.000 houses
were lost to the flood. 55 towns were razed to the ground. Despite the fact
that diseases spread through mosquitos and other insects depending on
water about 50 people died and 62000 families had to be evacuated.
And now to the disaster its self. And to emphasize what a great amount of
water was gathered to be such a destructive force. About & million acres
of farmland were flooded. The water reached heights to be able to collapse
electricity lines, which left many towns and villages without electricity.
About 70 per cent of all dams and levees were totally erased from the
ground they once stood on and the insurances were left with an
astonishing amount of money, which was about 12 billion Us dollars to pay
only counting in the loss of property alone.