The Mississippi River Flood Model is simple scaled design capable of operating a range of discharges. It illustrates how the Mississippi River, levees, and control structures interact while simulating an "In Bank" and "Flood" Flow with minimal flood damage.
Model Limits are from River Miles 429 to 510. The model is a distorted model in which the horizontal and vertical scales are not the same. The Horizontal Model Scale is 1 ft (model) = 1500 ft (prototype) and the Vertical Model Scale is 1 ft (model) = 300 ft (prototype). The model footprint is about 200 ft long and about 65 ft wide at its widest. The flood plain is 4" above bottom of river channel and the levees are 2 inches above the flood plain. The entire model is enclosed by a curb.
The model is coated with a safety surface that allows museum visitors to play in the river's flow.
During construction, 2 ft of unsuitable material needed to support the slab was removed. This material was replaced with 2 ft of select, compacted backfill. A head bay sump, 15 ft long x 3 ft wide x 3 ft deep, was excavated, formed, and cast in concrete. This serves as the distribution point for inflow of water to the upstream end of the model. A tail bay sump, 25 ft long x 12 ft wide x 4 ft deep, was formed at the downstream end of the model. This sump serves as a storage basin to contain water that is pumped to the upstream end of the model by means of submersible pumps. There are 2 pumps located in the tail bay sump. One is the primary model pump and the other can and will serve as an auxiliary pump and can be used to drain water from the model to a storm drain. An 8 inch reinforced concrete slab was built to support and serve as the model base.