Monday, May 09, 2011

A matter of perspective

I'm not sure people "get it" when reports about flooding on the Mississippi River dominate the evening news.

For example, Omaha fought a hellacious battle with the rampaging Missouri River in 1952, and it survived by the skin of its teeth. Many towns didn't.

But the thing is, when you've grown up on the Mississippi River, you have a term for the Mighty Mo: "That little bitty river."

Above, we find, courtesy of Louisiana State University, a shot taken at noon today of the swollen Mississippi where it borders the west end of campus. It's only a few feet from the top of the levee.

THING IS, the levees on the Mississippi in south Louisiana are as big and bad as levees get in the United States.

To give you an idea, the first photo was taken from atop the levee, looking toward the water. The second one is from atop the levee looking the other way.

It's pretty much like taking a picture from the top of a three-story building. And if, say, this particular levee were to fail, the water would stretch as far as the camera can see.

And farther.

Did I mention the Mississippi won't crest for another two weeks at Baton Rouge?

Perspective. It something that's nice to have.

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