Mississippi flooding

Unseasonably warm weather in the eastern US resulted in tornadoes just before Christmas. In the following weeks high rainfall has lead to the upper Mississippi river and its tributaries experiencing flooding and the water is expected to continue causing floods as it flows south over the next few weeks. We looked around for satellite imagery and the best we could find is a very low resolution image from NASA’s Terra satellite featured in this article. We did try looking for Landsat imagery, but it takes Landsat 8 sixteen days to fully image the planet, which it does in strips and it is a matter of chance whether the location of interest is on a strip that has been imaged recently. In this case we found no recent Landsat 8 imagery for the area of interest.

If we look on Wikipedia, however, we find out that the flooding of the Mississippi is a common event with records going back hundreds of years. The most recent major floods were in 2010 and 2011.

We did look at some imagery ( 1, 2, 3 ) soon after the 2011 event but at the time there was no imagery in Google Earth. Since then, quite a lot of imagery has been added which shows the flooding and is worth taking a look at, as it can give us some idea as to what to expect this year.


McClure Illinois.


Road washed away near Cairo, Missouri.


Finley, Tennessee.


A flooded underpass near West Memphis, Arkansas.


Flooded golf course near Nashville, Tennessee.

To see the above locations and others in Google Earth, download this KML file.

About Timothy Whitehead

Timothy has been using Google Earth since 2004 when it was still called Keyhole before it was renamed Google Earth in 2005 and has been a huge fan ever since. He is a programmer working for Red Wing Aerobatx and lives in Cape Town, South Africa.



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