Breathtaking Landsat images of Mississippi River flooding in May 2011

The spread of the MIssissippi River beyond its banks in May 2011, as seen by Landsat 5. In the video, the 2011 images are contrasted with images from a year ago.

Heavy spring rains and snow-melt led to devastating floods along the Mississippi River in May 2011. This video shows the view of Landsat 5, an Earth-orbiting satellite, which flew down the Mississippi River on May 10, 2011. In contrast to earlier Landsat imagery, from April 2010, you can see the water’s spread. To prevent flooding in Cairo, Illinois, the US Army Corps of Engineers blew a three-kilometer (two-mile) hole in the levee to let the waters flow into the New Madrid Floodway. Near Memphis Tennessee, flood waters crested at 48 feet, only inches below the record high level of the 1937 floods.