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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
"DAVID O. TOMLINSON" <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 14 Jul 1993 07:02:00 LCL
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
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     The July 14 Baltimore SUN includes a Twain headline just
     below the fold on the front page: "Twain's hometown braces
     for river crest."

     Several paragraphs in, the story contains the following

          That $8 million levell, completed just this spring, was
          built to withstand a flood beyond anything this town
          ever expected -- a 32.5-foot crest.  And that -- a 32-
          foot crest -- is just what was expected last night or
          this morning.

          Downtown Hannibal -- the childhood home of Mark Twain
          and the setting for the escapes of Tom Sawyer and Huck
          Finn -- lies on a slpe near the river.

          The new levee now blocks the view of the Mississippi
          from the picket-fenced (yes, its whitewashed) house
          which Samuel Clemens grew up in and which is now a part
          of a Mark Twain museum.

          Even Hannibal citizens are surprised to learn that in
          Twain's lifetime there were no severe floods here.

          "With the levee and flood protection projects of the
          1920s and '30s, the river was forced into a narrower
          channel and [flooding is] going to get deeper.  The
          water used to be allowed to spread out across bottom
          lowlands," explains Henry Sweets, director of the Mark
          Twain Home and Museum.


          "Mark Twain had seen earlier attempts to control the
          river.  He thought [it] could overcome any obstacle man
          could put in front of it,"  said Mr. Sweets.

          "He may be right, the river goes where it wants to and
          it's pretty hard to say no."

I suspect that materials at the home an museum have been moved
above the ground level though the article does not talk about
that issue at all.  Good luck to the museum and to the thousands
who must endure the rage of the river.

 David Tomlinson