It was 20 years ago today the Great Flood of 1993 reached its peak along the upper Mississippi River. Today is the anniversary of the river reaching its all time record crest at Alton at 42.72-feet. Alton's sandbag levee protecting downtown held, but on August 1 the city's sewer system was compromised and that let the water in behind the sandbags, essentially signalling the end of the fight.
A number of guests and callers to The Big Z remembered that summer and shared their memories on-air earlier this week on Let's Talk. Alton NAACP President James Gray remembers what his organization did to pitch in.
One listener says she discovered the Big-Z during the flood.
Kristie Baumgartner, Assistant Superintendant with the Alton School District, says she was working at Raging Rivers Water Park in Grafton that summer.
Alton Mayor Brant Walker says he has two memories that stick out above the rest.
The flood was among the most costly and devastating to ever occur in the United States, with $15-billion in damages. The flood was the worst such U.S. disaster since the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, in terms of duration, square miles inundated, persons displaced, crop and property damage, and number of record river levels. Grafton recorded flooding that year for 195 days.
Top - downtown Alton - July 1993
2nd - Upper lanes of Highway 67 looking south at Lewis Bridge - August 1993
3rd - Gas stations in West Alton, Missouri Highway 67 and 94 - July 1993
4th - Outside a home in West Alton in September 1993.