"The swollen, churning, unrelenting river that's flooding towns from Minnesota to Louisiana this month is not Mark Twain's Mississippi River.
Sure, there were big floods during the 20th century, including historic tides in 1927, 1937, 1965, 1973, 1983 and 1993.
But the spring floods of 2019 — which experts generally agree are the most damaging in 25 years — are among a new generation of Mississippi River crests that bear only passing resemblance to the floods of distant past.
Experts say the new floods come faster and more furiously than their 20th-century counterparts. They last longer and are less predictable. And they cause more property damage, especially in the basin's upper reaches where wetlands, forest and prairie have been replaced by subdivisions, office parks and drain-tiled farm fields."