Lead: In 1927 the Mississippi River exploded from its natural and man-made restraints creating the greatest natural disaster in American history up to that point.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Since the beginning of humanity, rivers have attracted people. These waterways provide swift transportation as compared to the cross-country alternative. River valleys provide famously rich, productive land for farming and other agricultural pursuits. Each year alluvial floods bring tons of rich soil from upriver to renew the nutrients necessary for growing crops. Because of the benefits the water bestows on those who live close to it, primitive societies have often held the rivers in religious veneration. Villages, then towns, then cities have been built on land adjacent to rivers, but most of the time just beyond the reach of potential flooding at least in the memory of those doing the building.