Thursday, February 1, 2018

The Mississippi Basin Model Update 2017: Some Tender Loving Care

The Corps of Engineers' Mississippi Basin Model, in Buddy Butts Park, Jackson, is finally receiving some tender loving care, thanks to The Friends of the Mississippi River Basin Model. Volunteers are clearing away trees, underbrush, and jungle. The City of Jackson provides dumpster trucks to haul away the trees and material that the volunteers drag out to the road. It is a major effort considering the decades that the site was neglected. Eventually, some interpretive signs will be posted and educational programs will be offered.
Coverage of the Mississippi Basin Model. From the USACE, undated.
The Basin Model was the largest hydraulic model of a waterway ever constructed. Its purpose was to model the flow of the Mississippi River, learn how the river responded, and predict engineering modifications, such as changes to levees or overflow features.
Most of the buildings are in poor condition and have been looted of any remaining instruments or technical equipment. Some of the roofs have collapsed.
This catwalk goes over an impressive sump. The brick building in the back housed pumps. I think some of the pumps refilled a water tower, whose purpose may have been to provide constant pressure water to various manifolds, which in turn directed water to specific sections of the model.
A couple of corrugated utility buildings are standing, but some of the wood structures have collapsed.
Poison ivy has taken over. I need to be especially careful when I help out on the clean-up days.

Some earlier articles about the Basin Model (click to see the articles):

These photographs are on Kodak TMax 100 film, exposed at ISO 80 and developed by Praus Productions in XTOL developer. I used a compact Olympus Trip 35 camera, a tiny thing with a selenium photocell exposure metering system and an excellent 40mm f/2.8 Tessar-type lens.

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