Apparently, melting snow and heavy rains in March and April had the Mississippi River rising to a level not seen since 1937. On May 10th, the Mississippi River crested in Memphis at 47.8 feet, inundating much of the low lying areas.
Luckily, iconic sites such as Graceland and Beale Street in the Memphis downtown were not affected by the flood. The Mud Island River Park, which is situated next to the mighty Mississippi River, was completely submerged.
One look at the Mississippi River and you will understand why most cruisers try to avoid it. Not only is the swift current daunting, the traffic is heavy with commercial barges. Their captains' Southern speak is equally daunting. And baffling.
Mai Thai is on the Tennessee River, miles upstream from the Mississippi River, so we are safe from the flood. When we cruised up the inland waterway in 2006, we came in from Gulf of Mexico at Mobile, Alabama, then via the Tennessee-Tombigbee (Tenn-Tom) Waterway. That year, Mai Thai was docked at Midway Marina on the Tenn-Tom Waterway. Midway Marina is a mere 2 hours from Memphis, so we used to visit the city often. We loved the music scene (jazz and blues) and enjoyed the marvelous Memphis style BBQ ribs (dry-rubbed, and Blues City Cafe and Rendezvous are favorites).
Other than Beale Street, our other favorite place is the the 52-acres Mud Island River Park, which, ironically, is dedicated to life on the Mississipi River. The park has an amphitheatre, a museum and a River Walk, a 5-block long replica of the lower Mississippi River. The park is an excellent place to spend a hot summer day with the family.
Monorails take visitors to Mud Island River ParkThe Mississippi River, as seen from the parkThe Upper Mississippi River, originating in MinnesotaRiver Walk - the 5 block replica of the Lower Mississippi Riverthat winds through farmlands and cities,
and empties into the Gulf of Mexico at New Orleans, Louisiana
Here are some links (videos, pictures) to stories about the great flood of 2011.
Great Flood of 2011
Videos and stories from ABC News
Video of Memphis - Mud Island River Park, Beale Street and Graceland
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