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The 1913 Flood

Four Mississippi Counties Inundated and Losses
Expected to Reach Millions

Boats Rushed to Rescue
Ample Warning to Inhabitants Had Been Given
And No Loss of Life is Apprehended

New Orleans, April 21. - The most alarming break yet in the present flood stage of the Mississippi River occurred this afternoon, when two crevasses formed in the Woodlawn levee just north of Mayersville, Miss., and tonight widened into one break four hundred feet wide. Mayersville is about half way between Vicksburg and Greenville, Miss.

The crevasse undoubtedly will flood all of Sharkey and Issaquena counties and nearly all of Washington and Warren counties. The country is rich in cotton farms and is well settled. Conservative estimates place the number of persons who will be rendered homeless at fifteen thousand and the property losses at several million dollars.

Mayersville, Rolling Fork, Cary, Smedes, Kelso, Valley Park and other thriving Mississippi towns seem destined to be inundated. It was believed tonight that there was little danger of loss of life, although active government relief work was started immediately after the break. The steamer Nakomis, in charge of Lieut. Blaine, U.S.A., was sent from Vicksburg, and other rescue boats are expected to follow tomorrow.

Estimates made by Federal engineers are that, with the back water already in the vicinity, nearly 1,150 square miles will be inundated. Train service of the Yazoo & Mississippi Valley Railroad undoubtedly will be paralyzed.

Near the crevasse tonight the water in places in twelve feet deep. At Lake Providence, La., as a result, the river fell a fifth of a foot, and other points reported lower gauges, although at New Orleans the steady rise continued, and it was predicted that the break would have little effect here. Rain was threatening tonight all along the lower river, and grave fears were entertained for the weakened levees at other points.

For some hours last evening, it was feared that Gov. Hall and the members of the Levee Board at Lake Providence, La., on an inspection tour, would be swept away, with the inhabitants. The Brunette levee was reported broken, but later the report was denied.

Source: The New York Times, April 22, 1913, Page 6

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