What do you do when you are the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and you want to learn how to control flooding? You recreate the Mississippi River to simulate floods. See the gallery of photos at the link of this amazing project constructed in the 1930’s.
In 1936, after nearly two decades of devastating floods in the Mississippi River Basin, Congress passed the Flood Control Act, which funneled over $300 million into dams and other projects that engineers hoped would prevent millions from losing their homes in the next flood. But even this dramatic injection of cash left people vulnerable to floods in Ohio. That's when a visionary with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers pitched a crazy idea: Why not create a vast, scale model of the Mississippi River, as an entire river system, and use a huge system of hydraulic pumps to simulate floods and flood prevention techniques? The result, in the mid-1940s, was one of the most incredible — and most successful — experiments in hydraulic engineering ever constructed. It was called the Mississippi River Basin Model, and you can still see its remains in Vicksburg, Mississippi.