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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Mississippi River Flood of 2011: Incident Response Review

Mississippi River Flood of 2011: Incident Response Review

Resource allocation in respond to the flood was adequate despite the fact that “The flood waters exacerbated known weakness and created new weaknesses in the system requiring emergency response by the local levee boards coupled with technical assistance and other resources from the Corps” (U.S. Corps of Engineers, 2012, p.4). Response was adequate due to the collaboration of emergency agencies. “Districts aggressively pursued coordination internally and with outside agencies during this event in an effort to synchronize efforts and to share information. Coordination was
accomplished in many different ways, including establishing direct liaison with certain agencies, establishing internal and external websites, using social media to inform the public, and participating in recurring meetings and conference calls” (U.S. Corps of Engineers, 2012, p.4).
One positive outcome of planned levee destruction in response to th flood was the opportunity to study flood damage for later planning. The study was intended to “demonstrate that landscape vulnerabilities can be mapped ahead of time to help communities prepare for extreme flooding” (Homeland Security News Wire, 2014, para. 2).
There is little that could have been done to improve resource allocation in preparation of these floods. “'This is the best test it ever had,' said Peter Nimrod, chief engineer of the Mississippi Levee District, which maintains levees between Greenville and Vicksburg...Congress allotted $140 million last year for the Vicksburg Corps district to do 81 flood-related projects in Mississippi as well as parts of Arkansas and Louisiana.” (AP, 2012, para. 21-22).
Response to the flood appears to be much better than response to Hurricane Katrina. Both the public and the emergency responders anticipated the need to react with more alacrity. There was no hesitation in public evacuation. “In anticipation of the Morganza Spillway opening, there has been local news coverage over the last few days of folks proactively clearing out whatever valuables they could” (Scronce, 2011, para. 4). It may be that the frequency of flooding on the Mississippi has led residents to be more aware of the potential of danger, to show foresight. “What happened during the Great Flood of 2011 did not happen because of some overnight miracle. It happened because of the foresight of the people that formed a triad more than 80 years ago. The triad consisted of the United States Congress, the United States Army Corps of Engineers, and last, but certainly not least, the local people who had organized themselves in 1922 into what is now the Mississippi Valley Flood Control Association” (Mississippi River Commission, 2012, p. v).


Associated Press. (2012, April 7). 2011 Mississippi River flood recovery is still under way. Retrieved March 1, 2015 from http://www.nola.com/environment/index.ssf/2012/04/2011_mississippi_river_flood_r.html

Homeland Security News Wire. (2014, February 19). Studying the 2011 Mississippi and Ohio rivers flood for better flood preparedness. Retrieved March 1, 2015 from http://www.homelandsecuritynewswire.com/dr20140219-studying-the-2011-mississippi-and-ohio-rivers-flood-for-better-flood-preparedness

Mississippi River Commission. (2012). Divine providence: The 2011 flood in the Mississippi River and Tributaries Project. Retrieved March 1, 2015 from http://cdm16021.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p16021coll4/id/181/rec/2

Scronce, G. (2011, May 11). Early thoughts on the Mississippi River flooding of 2011. I Think (therefore) IEM. Retrieved March 1, 2015 from http://blog.iem.com/2011/05/11/early-thoughts-on-the-mississippi-river-flooding-of-2011/

U.S. Corps of Engineers. (2012). Operation watershed–recovery 2012 flood season preparedness and emergency response summary. Retrieved March 1, 2015 from http://www.mvd.usace.army.mil/Portals/52/docs/regional_flood_risk_management/FINAL%202012%20Flood%20Season%20Preparedness%20Summary%20Report%20%284-12-12%29.pdf

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