Mississippi River Tragedies: A Century of Unnatural Disaster

Published: May 14, 2014

Presentation by author Christine A. Klein, J.D., LL.M., Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

American engineers have done astounding things to bend the Mississippi River and its tributaries to their will: transforming over a thousand miles of roiling current into a placid staircase of water; imprisoning the mighty flow behind walls of levees; even forcing one of the tributaries to flow uphill. But despite our best efforts to control the river, so-called “natural disasters” continue to strike the Mississippi basin. Raging floodwaters decimate waterfront communities and dislodge everything in their path—homes, trees, livestock, even dozens of caskets at a time. An overview of the basin’s floods and hurricanes over the past century—including the great flood of 1993—reveals that it is seductively deceptive, but dangerously misleading, to call such catastrophes “natural.”

Christine Klein is a native of St. Louis, Missouri. She discussed her recent book “Mississippi River Tragedies: A Century of Unnatural Disasters”, written with co-author Sandra Zellmer, and published by NYU Press in March 2014. She is a Chesterfield Smith Professor and Director, LL.M. Program in Environmental & Land Use Law at Levin College of Law, University of Florida.

book cover

Resources and Links

Here’s some links for further research on this fascinating topic:

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