"Ten thousand River Commissions cannot tame that lawless stream, cannot say to it, 'Go here,' or 'Go there,' and make it obey." Mark Twain
Lincoln, Pike and St. Charles Counties are located in the eastern central region of Missouri. Lincoln County borders St. Charles County on the north and Pike County borders Lincoln County on its south. All three adjoining counties are located on their eastern boundaries by the Mississippi River and lye between St. Louis, Missouri on the south and the City of Hannibal to the north.
The Mississippi River and numerous tributaries included in the counties of Lincoln, Pike, and St. Charles are the source of obvious flood problems. The flood producing characteristics of the streams are similar to other small watersheds in the mid-west. The streams generally have steep slopes, causing rainfall runoff to concentrate rapidly, making the streams susceptible to flooding from high intensity, short duration storms. Flood flows from this type of storm are characterized by high peaks, high velocities, short duration, and relatively small volumes of runoff. However, Mississippi River backwater can cause extensive damage upstream and cause elevated food waters remaining above flood stage for a much longer period. Backwater impedes the ability of the tributaries to carry runoff from their basins. This causes a relatively minor storm to create a severe flood situation. Bluffs and levees along the rivers increase the flood risk to the counties.
Flooding has been attributed to a number of conditions, including locally constructed levees that offer varying degrees of protection. All of these levee units were overtopped during the 1973 and 1993 floods.
The Mississippi River drains 41 percent of the continental United States, stretching from Montana and Canada to western New York.
The basin covers more than 1,245,000 square miles, includes all or parts of 31 states and two Canadian provinces.
Source: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers