BR.highriver0004.030919 bf.jpg

Pedestrians walk along the top of the levee as high water on the Mississippi River flows past the city Friday March 8, 2019, in Baton Rouge, La. The handrail for the stairs continues into the muddy water as the encroaching river keeps covering the steps.

The Mississippi River has broken a 92-year-old flood record.

The river has been in flood stage since Jan. 5, 136 days ago. It's the longest the Mississippi has been in flood stage since 1927, when devastating floods compelled the government to build the modern levee system.

As of Tuesday, the river stood around 44 feet at Baton Rouge and is forecast to keep rising, though only slightly, into the weekend. It is not projected to overtop the levees, but meteorologists have said they expect the river to remain in flood stage well into summer.

The persistent high water has prompted a pair of openings of the Bonnet Carré spillway this year -- the first time it's been used twice in one year. However, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have not needed to relieve pressure by opening the Morganza spillway.


Can't see video below? Click here.


The lengthy flood was the result of historic rain in the eastern half of the country, as well as autumn storms that kept the river level from dipping before the spring flood season.

Experts predict that the long period of high water and the spillway openings will have ecological and economic consequences, including issues with shipping and farming and damage to the seafood industry. The rains washing down the Mississippi are also expected to contribute to a potentially historic Gulf of Mexico dead zone this summer.


Follow Steve Hardy on Twitter, @SteveRHardy.