The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 remains the most destructive flood in America’s history. It occurred after a prolonged period of heavy rain hit the central basin of the Mississippi. The waters burst through the levee system in 145 places, flooding an area of 27,000 square miles that reached into seven states. In Mississippi itself, the river swelled to a width of 60 miles. Damages were colossal: homes, livestock and crops were swept away; at least 246 people lost their lives; and estimates of financial cost run from $230 to $400 million. It took eight months before the waters finally ebbed away from land that was by then little more than a despondent expanse of mud and ruin.
Watch a slideshow of photographs of the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927.