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The River Connects Us All

Lower Mississippi River Dispatch No 330

Posted Monday, Jan 4, 2015

Happy Ca-New Year
from all of us at Quapaw Canoe Company!

Flood Update:

The Sunflower is receding, and has returned to its normal below-bank muddy status (after having left a truly awesome muddy bathtub ring with leaves and bits of bark, and other natural artifacts that float, and lot of ugly things that also float, including the usual plastic water bottles, candy wrappers, tampons, condoms, potato chip bags, styrofoam cups, and other despicable trash around the perimeter of downtown Clarksdale).

Meanwhile, the Mississippi is rising at a steady clip-clop march of one foot a day every day for the past 2 weeks, having already come up around 20 vertical feet, and still has another 5 feet to go, according to latest forecasts. We’ll reach 49 here on the Helena gage by Sunday Jan 10th. This is 3 feet down from last week’s forecast, but still means that every island, landing, and dry place in between the levees will be under water (with a few very particular exceptions). This is true everywhere from Memphis to Greenville to Vicksburg, down through Natchez, St. Francisville, Baton Rouge, New Orleans and on down to the Gulf of Mexico. These levels are not overtopping the levees anywhere (as long as they hold), but I feel sorry for all of the millions of critters that are now getting chased from their homes on the islands and the Mississippi River batture and are now having to flee for their lives, as they did in 2011.

While our forecast has been lowered here, and Memphis, and on up to Cairo, places south of the Arkansas River will get hit with more water. Why? Because the Arkansas is also flooding big time. In fact, the Arkansas River drainage (Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas) and got hit harder with heavier rain from these storms than any of the other drainages. Natchez will experience its 2nd highest waters ever in recorded history! (Forecast calls for 60 in Natchez. Only the 2011 flood got higher: 61.95 on May 19, 2011). Ditto for the Red River Landing (at the mouth of the Atchafalaya) where it is expected to crest at 62.5.

Needed: Plastic Yogurt Containers!

Speaking of trash, we are going into the wood shop and will be building several cypress strip voyageur canoes this winter. We need your 2 qt (or 32 oz) plastic yogurt containers! And also any other plastic containers (or bowls) about that same size. These kind of plastic containers are perfect for mixing epoxy resin, that two-part glue that we apply fiberglass with, and then coat the entire hull with for a smooth protective finish. We'll be mixing gallons and gallons of glue and your discarded containers will help us in the process! Smooth insides and rounded bottoms are best for the purpose. Clean out and bring to us in downtown Clarksdale. Or box up and send to Quapaw Canoe Company, 291 Sunflower Avenue, Clarksdale, MS, 38614. The canoe construction begins in February. We will send a free Mississippi River Connects Us All Poster to anyone who brings us your cleaned-out yogurt containers! Thank you in advance!

This Friday in Baton Rouge:
Jon Bowermaster Documentary Film:
After the Spill: Louisiana Water Stories II

Friday January 8th 7PM
After the Spill: Louisana Water Stories II

Manship Theatre at the Shaw Center for the Performing Arts in Baton Rouge

Join filmmaker Jon Bowermaster, Gen. Russel Honore, John Barry, Nick Spitzer and Sonny Landreth for the Louisiana premier of After The Spill - Louisiana Waterstories II.

Ten years ago Hurricane Katrina devastated the coast of Louisiana. Five years later the BP operated Deepwater Horizon exploded and spilled more than 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, the worst ecological disaster in North American history. Those events along with other man-made and natural factors contribute to accelerating land loss.

“Louisiana’s coastal marshes and fisheries are part of America’s patrimony,” Bowermaster said, “They belong to the whole country, not just Louisiana. Our hope is that ‘After The Spill’ helps initiate a national dialog on the disappearing coast.”

Bowermaster’s empathetic look at the state and its people and their relationship to water is revealed in this thought provoking and moving film.

Narrated by Academy Award Winner Melissa Leo and featuring a score by Louisiana guitar legend Sonny Landreth, “After The Spill” reaches deep into the travails and the joy of life in a complicated and compelling place.

“After The Spill” was co-produced by Louisiana residents Winifred Reilly, Kevin Reilly Jr., and Cyril Vetter.

Go to the LEAN FB Page for more information!

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The Lower Mississippi River Dispatch

is a service of the
Lower Mississippi River Foundation

Clarksdale, Mississippi ~ Helena, Arkansas