Flood system a marvel for all to witness

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A modern engineering wonder is happening right off the edge of Natchez’s front porch.

Walk to the Natchez bluff and look out over the flood-swollen Mississippi River and be amazed.

Be amazed at how much incredible power America’s mightiest river can wield, but also be amazed at the incredible engineering feats that keep the river mostly under control.

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Amazingly, more than one-third of the continental United States drains into the Mississippi River valley.

Literally millions and millions of gallons of water flow past each second.

Yet because of the enormous investment over the last 80 or so years, the river is largely tamed.

A complicated system of levees, spillways and other control structures aim to prevent the river from becoming unhinged.

By all accounts, the system is working well at the moment and should manage to allow the current flood bubble to smoothly pass our area this weekend and eventually make its way into the Gulf of Mexico without major incident.

As crews opened one of those control measures Sunday, the Bonnet Carre Spillway near New Orleans, in an effort to ease the pressure off the City of New Orleans, Mayor Mitch Landrieu summed it up well.

“What we’re witnessing right now is really an engineering miracle,” he said.

He’s right, and thank God for the men and women who keep that miracle functioning so in times of high water, we can all remain safe.