The 10 Costliest Floods in American History

Last week, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flooded Vicksburg, Miss., to save New Orleans. The waters crested May 19 in the old Southern city at 57.1 feet, surpassing a record set 84 years ago. Flooding one city to save another was an awful choice that says a great deal about the ineffectiveness of the current flood control infrastructure. Nonetheless, flood control measures are considered advanced compared to those of just a few decades ago.

The Mississippi flood, the second most destructive in the history of the U.S., has finally begun to subside, but others are anticipated to spring up around the country later this year.

The New York Times reports that snow packs in mountains in the U.S. West are high enough that, "Fear of a sudden thaw, releasing millions of gallons of water through river channels and narrow canyons, has disaster experts on edge." Experts can anticipate the damage, but are nearly helpless to prevent it.

The floods sweeping through the Mississippi River Basin and other parts of the region have become an increasing concern not just to the people living there, but to anyone concerned with the health of the U.S. economy. The costs of aid, of reconstruction, of destroyed crops and of lost business are estimated by some to be as much as $9 billion, and that forecast may prove to be conservative. This disaster also taxes national resources. CNN reports the National Flood Insurance Program could buckle under the weight of its obligations. "The massive Mississippi River flooding is expected to leave behind a giant bill for the government program, which offers affordable insurance to people who live in risky areas and then backstops their claims," the news network says.

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I was amused or outraged to read this article about the flooding. More specifically about the National Flood Insurance Program and its "affordable" flood insurance. Affordable my ass, it costs twice as much as full coverage homeowners and doesnt cover contents. When the Gestapo (Freudian slip, I mean FEMA) came in last fall they decided that my house needed to be placed in a flood zone. It is physically impossible for my house to flood. My house sits about 40 feet above and about a 1/4 mile back from the nearest water source. My neighbor 100 feet south isnt in a flood plain and my neighbor to the north, although closer to the river, isnt in a flood plain. Yet there is minimal difference in elevation to our properties. I found out that when they "surveyed" it involved a flyover and use of old maps. The best way to describe FEMA's actions is typical government stupidity. When I challenged the local FEMA office to come show me how my property could flood, I was told they didnt have to honor any requests by taxpayers. My homeowners insurance costs about $800.00 a year. The "cheapest" flood insurance the mortgage co. could find for my house is about $1700 and does not cover contents. My HO policy covers fire, lightning, wind and hail, the flood extortion covers only rising water from a nearby body of water. SCREW FEMA and their arrogant Nazi attitude. Im also sure the mortgage company was handsomely rewarded for their diligence in protecting their interest.

May 23 2011 at 3:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

just vote in Ron Paul so we won't have to build levies . let everyone take care of themselves and if god wants it to flood, that's his will and we shouldn't over ride his will, as it ways in the bible. anyone who drowns and believes in his son will go to heaven anyway

May 23 2011 at 3:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I live in NEW ORLEANS, we DID NOT FLOOD VICKSBURG, MISS. to save the 2 million plus people between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, the ARMY CORP OF ENGINEERS opened 330 BAYS OF the BONNET CARRIE SPILLWAY here in NEW ORLEANS that empties into LAKE PONTCHATRAIN, then they opened 17 BAYS of the MORGANZA SPILLWAY, both are way south of VICKSBURB MISS....Vicksburg has been flooding for weeks because of the MISSISSIPPI river caused the YAZOO RIVER to back up and flood VICKSBURG........The MORGANZA AND BONNETT CARRIE SPILLWAYS were builT to lower the levels of the MISSISSIPPI RIVER and the water pours into MASSIVE FLOODWAYS, forests , state parks, fields etc, these spillways are south of VICKSBURG..... The people in those areas knew why the land was so cheap and where they were building, and most of those areas are huge STATE PARKS and swampland........Dont blame us for VICKSBURG flooding , blame the SNOW melt from the MIDWEST and HUGE AMOUNTS of RAIN in the MIDWESTERN states......GET YOUR STORY TOGETHER ..............

May 23 2011 at 3:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Anything that happens south of the Mason Dickson Line will always cost alot.

May 23 2011 at 2:51 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply