Mississippi by Air: Jackson during the Easter Flood, 1979

If you’ve been paying attention to the weather in the last two weeks, and who could avoid paying attention, you know we’ve gotten a lot of rain (approximately 13 inches at my house in the last 13 days), and it’s not just Mississippi, but all those other places upriver from us. Now all that water is making its way down the river, and the National Weather Service has issued a Flood Warning for the Mississippi River to estimates the river will crest at Natchez at 52.5 feet on May18.

These flood warnings reminded me of an MDAH collection of aerial views of Jackson’s last big flood, the famous Easter Flood of 1979 when parts of downtown Jackson and most of the residential neighborhoods east of I-55 were underwater. The Jackson Flood, 1979 Collection consists of 245 color slides, but there’s very little other information in the online catalog about who took the photos or how they came to MDAH. Presumably, these were taken by a government official for emergency response planning. I thought I would pull a few of the images to show how extensive the flooding was, and if you want to see the whole collection on this chilly Friday, click here.

Rankin and Gallatin Streets. Jackson Flood, 1979, aerial view, looking north. Mississippi Department of Archives and History, electronic resource.

Rankin and Gallatin Streets. Jackson Flood, 1979, aerial view, looking north. Mississippi Department of Archives and History, electronic resource.

Pascagoula and S. West Street, aerial view to WSW, with city auditorium (now Thalia Mara Hall) and planetarium to left and the then-colorful Petroleum building on right (see it then and now at “Now angry buildings were once carefree mid-century moderns“). Jackson Flood, 1979, Mississippi Department of Archives and History, electronic resource.

Interstate 55, Jacksonian Plaza and Hanging Moss Creek [graphic]. Jackson Flood, 1979. Aerial view, looking west, southwest. Mississippi Department of Archives and History, electronic resource

Interstate 55, Jacksonian Plaza and Hanging Moss Creek [graphic]. Jackson Flood, 1979. Aerial view, looking west, southwest. Mississippi Department of Archives and History, electronic resource

Hanging Moss Creek, Old Canton Road, Canton Mart and Interstate 55 area [graphic]. Jackson Flood, 1979, aerial view, looking west. Mississippi Department of Archives and History, electronic resource

Hanging Moss Creek, Old Canton Road, Canton Mart and Interstate 55 area [graphic]. Jackson Flood, 1979, aerial view, looking west. Mississippi Department of Archives and History, electronic resource

Lakeland Drive, Jackson Flood, 1979, aerial view looking west. Mississippi Department of Archives and History, electronic resource



Categories: Disasters, Jackson

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3 replies

  1. Remember the “High Street boat landing”?

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  2. I worked in the First National Bank building. Had to have a letter giving me permission to go there. We didn’t get much work done because the power kept going off and on.

    Like

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