Figure 3: "Without levees, even a great flood…meant only a gradual and gentle rising and spreading of water. But if a levee towering as high as a four-story building gave way, the river could explode upon the land with the power and suddenness of a dam bursting (Barry, 1997)." Photo shows one of the 1,082 levee breaks during the Mississippi River flood of 1993. Photo by Jim Rackwitz, St. Louis Post-Dispatch.