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The United States Floods

Nature volume 139, pages 277278 (13 February 1937) | Download Citation



WHILST it is fully expected that the liability of the countryside to flooding through the possible bursting of the riverside levees in the Mississippi Valley will continue to be a menace for another week or ten days, yet there has been a perceptible diminution in the anxiety felt as regards the general situation, which is much more satisfactory than at the time of our previous issue. The crest of the flood wave is gradually diminishing in height. It did not quite reach the anticipated level at Cairo, and as it passes down the valley, unless reinforced by fresh rains, it should subside in intensity. There is believed to be a margin of at least four feet available above water surface level from New Madrid to New Orleans, and this should be adequate for the occasion. None the less, caution is being exercised, and some 120,000 workmen are being kept on the alert along the course of the river to deal at once with any incipient signs of weakness in the banks. In the Ohio Valley, the inhabitants are being permitted to return in detachments to their houses. The total death roll, as at present ascertained, amounts to 407, and the number of homeless is still in the neighbourhood of a million. At Louisville, several persons have been killed and a score or so injured in a series of explosions due to the ignition of an accumulation of gas in buildings following the inundation of the town.

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