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Voices from the Flood

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In 2019, well over half a million acres flooded in Mississippi’s lower Delta. It was a combination of relentless rain in the region and epic runoff from states higher upriver. The floodwaters remained for more than seven months, depriving local residents of their homes and their livelihoods.

But there is much more to the story, and those who came through the catastrophe—many of whom lost their homes and everything in them—believe it could have been prevented.

With their help, we present this five-part series, “Voices from the Flood.”

About the project

To document the experiences of people who lived through this historic event, the MSU Extension Office of Agricultural Communications conducted interviews to create an oral history project. With guidance from special collections experts at the MSU Mitchell Memorial Library and boots-on-the-ground help from Extension agents Emily Carter (Sharkey/Issaquena counties) and Sandy Havard (Warren County), the team gathered video footage, interview transcripts, photographs, and historical information from 19 local residents. The project’s files will be stored permanently at the library and made available to researchers.

Because these stories had not been told in the local or national media, videographer Brian Utley worked with Farmweek producers Mike Russell and Zac Ashmore to create a 5-part series, “Voices from the Flood,” that shares the often harrowing experiences of these Delta residents and examines the economic and personal effects of the crisis.


Voices From The Flood 1 | A Complicated Story

Part 1: A Complicated Story

August 20, 2020

In 2019, Mississippi’s lower Delta experienced an unprecedented backwater flood.

Voices From The Flood 2 | A Perfect Storm

Part 2: The Perfect Storm

August 27, 2020

In this account, we go deeper into the heartbreaking chronicle of how—as the flood waters were still rising—residents had no choice but to give up and leave their homes.

Voices From The Flood 3 | The Economic Loss

Part 3: The Economic Loss

September 3, 2020

This installment presents more about the economic losses these folks suffered in the massive flooding of Mississippi’s lower Delta in 2019.

Voices From The Flood 4 | The Hidden Costs

Part 4: The Hidden Costs

September 10, 2020

Here we examine the hidden costs of that 100-year flood in Mississippi’s lower Delta in 2019.

Voices From The Flood 5 | A Community Rising

Part 5: A Community Rising

September 17, 2020

Previous parts of this series have focused on the widespread—and preventable—destruction of the massive flooding of Mississippi’s South Delta. But we end on a positive note.

Voices From The Flood | Origin of the Series

Voices From The Flood: Origin of the Series

September 24, 2020

A behind-the-scenes look at the making of “Voices from the Flood.”

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