Mississippi River towns look for solutions to climate change

Climate change means communities along the Mississippi River are experiencing longer and higher floods in springtime, flash flooding from heavy rains, as well as prolonged droughts. Now cities along the river are turning to each other for solutions.

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January 2, 2024 - 2:33 PM

The River Des Peres in St. Louis, Missouri, flows out of its banks in south St. Louis on June 4, 2019. The concrete-lined drainage ditch is prone to flooding. Photo by Brent Jones/St. Louis Public Radio/Harvest Public Media

Cities and towns across the Mississippi River basin have always needed to weather the environmental disasters associated with living along a river.

The past few years have brought wild fluctuations between flooding and drought, bringing more stress to the communities nestled along the Mississippi’s 2,350 miles.

In the last five years alone, they’ve seen springtime flooding, flash flooding, significant drought and low river levels, with opposite ends of this spectrum sometimes occurring in the same calendar year.

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