The opinions, rants and absurdities expressed herein belong solely to the founder of RBPD. Read with caution. Content may induce nausea, confusion, vertigo, tears, hallucinations, anger, pity, reflexive piety, boredom, convulsions, lightheadedness, a fit of ague, or an opposing view.
Only the catchment areas of the Amazon, the Congo and the Nile exceed that of the Mississippi, which drains 40 per cent of the United States, encompassing thirty-one states (and two Canadian provinces). Other renowned calamities in the United States – the (human-caused) Johnstown (Pennsylvania) flood of 1889 (more than 2,000 German and Welsh immigrant ironworkers lost their lives when a rickety dam burst higher up the valley), the Galveston (Texas) hurricane of 1900 (the nation’s deadliest hurricane), the San Francisco earthquake and fire (1906) and Hurricane Katrina (2005) – involved more physical damage and greater loss of life. But the area affected by the Mississippi flood of 1927, the most severe in US history, is unrivalled in the annals of American “natural” disasters. Unusually heavy and persistent precipitation began in August 1926 throughout the Mississippi basin and did not let up until the spring of 1927. Long-term processes of deforestation in the upper basin, wetland drainage and installation of monoculture agricultural regimes had seriously compromised the earth’s capacity to store moisture from rain and snow, hastening runoff and erosion of the “naked” soil. So, by late spring, 30,000 square miles across seven states, from Cairo, Illinois, to the Gulf of Mexico, inhabited by nearly a million people, stood under up to 30 feet of water--TLS
Terry Simons is the founder of Round Bend Press Books, Round Bend Press Detritus, and an associated writing/editing service to aid and abet renegade authors. He has worked as a day laborer, dishwasher, factory drone, community organizer, journalist, media consultant and freelance writer. He attended the University of Oregon and Portland State University, where he read journalism, politics, literature and history. He is the author most recently of "Along Came the Death Squad: Political and Scattered Notes."
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