August 30, 2015

Flooding of the Mighty Mississippi, Part 8 - The Flood of 1950

Mississippi River at Natchez, Mississippi - 2014

Flood History on the Lower Mississippi:
The Mississippi River at New Orleans would reach its highest flood crest since the completion of the Bonnet Carre Spillway, topping out at 19.98 ft. on February 10th, ranking 7th highest stage recorded at New Orleans.  The crest at Reserve of 25.60 ft. is the 3rd highest all time.  
The Bonnet Carre Spillway had all 350 bays opened for 38 days.  Donaldsonville had 9th highest crest at 32.20 ft. on March 4th; Baton Rouge 9th highest crest at 42.98 ft. on March 4th; Red River Landing 10th highest crest at 57.19 ft. on March 4th.
I first wrote about the construction and design of the Bonnet Carre Spillway in Part 6 of this series on the flooding of the Mississippi River.  References to this spillway can also be found in Part 7.

In 1950, the impact of the overflow from the mighty river was felt in Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas.  Within the state of Louisiana, Catahoula and Concordia parishes were the hardest hit.

From the February 16, 1950 edition of the Anniston Star in Anniston, Alabama:

Anniston Star - 2/16/1950

The Austin Sunday American Statesman of Austin, Texas reported the following on February 19, 1950:

Austin Sunday American Statesman - 2/19/1950

The flooding of 1950 also put the Louisiana Hog Dog back to work.

While residents of Catahoula Parish endured more flooding in the twenty years following 1950, these floods were mostly due to heavy local rainfall which resulted in the overflow of smaller, nearby rivers and lakes.

Major flooding of the Mighty Mississippi would impact Catahoula Parish again in 1973. 

*This post is part eight in a series of posts in which an attempt will be made to document the history of flooding in Catahoula Parish caused by the overflow of the Mighty Mississippi River.  Occurrences will be presented using maps, newspaper articles, photographs and reports from the State Library of Louisiana and other collections from the sources linked below each post. 

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