Hannibal is a community defined largely by the body of water that makes up its eastern border.
We are the world’s definition of a river town.
Most times, the river is our greatest asset. Thousands visit here each year, many to witness the Mighty Mississippi at its most famous outpost. On a typical summer day, visitors and locals alike sit on park benches along the riverfront, gazing at the most famous river on Earth.
The river is a blessing that has made Hannibal what it is.
It is also our greatest curse.
In 1993 and again in 2008, the river showed us just how Mother Nature is in charge — closing roads, destroying habitats, ruining homes and uprooting lives.
In the summers of both years, Hannibal was the epicenter of the Big Muddy’s wrath, sweeping away farms and homes with seemingly relentless water.
We can never truly be ready for what the river has in store. We may try to tame it with walls and levees, but time and time again, we’re shown that the river will do as it wishes.
On the 25th anniversary of the Flood of 1993 and the 10th anniversary of the Flood of 2008, we reflect on how this usually serene, influential river can change personalities into an indiscriminate force of nature.
We remember what was lost and the lives changed forever.
We also look ahead at how we prepare for the next great flood, knowing that the river can once again wreak havoc as it did in ‘93 and ‘08.
Click on the link above to download the complete issue, or see the links below.
The Flood of 1993: The year the river ruled
The Flood of 2008: A show of might and power
The Hannibal flood wall is solid. A lot of work keeps it that way.
Mississippi River's ebb and flow keeps farmers on their toes
Hannibal's flood wall engineer calls it 'perfect timing'
Without the wall, would any businesses be left in downtown Hannibal?
Buy-outs in the flood plain became a necessary evil
Why a '500-year flood' isn't a term hydrologists use any more
Flood photos: Then and now
100 photos of the Flood of 1993