Mississippi River Basin Model
Hinds County, Mississippi
Started in 1943 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Mississippi River Basin Model is designed to study floods, drought, and other weather events. The early excavation was carried out by German prisoners of war who were captured in North Africa when Rommel’s Africa Korps was destroyed by Anglo-American forces. Later, concrete work was completed by local Jackson contractors and the model was ready for use in the early 1950s. A day on the river could be simulated in just 5.4 minutes using the model. Although it was useful for predicting flood limits for four decades, the model was decommissioned in 1993 when it was replaced by computer software for flood control modeling and simulation.
In 1993, the model was deeded to the City of Jackson. A city park was built around the model, which is now unused and mostly hidden from view by the dense undergrowth that the German POWs worked so hard to remove almost 60 years ago. Despite its unfortunate deteriorated condition, the Basin Model stands as a monument to man’s desire to understand and control the mighty Mississippi River.
2017 Update – In Progress
Through the hard work of a group of dedicated volunteers called The Friends of the Mississippi River Basin Model, and help from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), The Mississippi Humanities Council as well as many other private sponsors, the Mississippi River Basin Model, is being restored! Eventually, it will be the centerpiece of a walking trail around Butts Park in Clinton and Jackson.