During the historic flood of 2011, the Mississippi River saw record breaking water levels between Cairo, IL and Memphis, TN. Near Tiptonville, TN, Sheep Ridge Spur Levee (private) was overtopped and crevassed when the Mississippi River hit 48.35 feet on the Tiptonville gage. As the waters receded, inspectors found 3,000 feet of levee crevassed and 2,700 feet of bank line eroded. The Mississippi River had begun to form a new cutoff from River Mile (RM) 869 to 860. The Mississippi River had eroded approximately 4,000 feet into Island 13, degrading the landscape to elevations 80 feet below natural ground.
This study will assess:
- The potential for additional overbank scour to lead in formation of a major river cut-off,
- The effects of Spur Levee failure (Sheeps Ridge Road) on navigation,
- The effects of Spur Levee failure on long-term reach behavior,
- The effects of completed repairs on cut-off formation, and
- The long-term effects of further alteration to the Spur Levee.