The twin forces of engineers and dirt were mobilized to do something about this, but in many places this was a losing fight, and numerous communities were heavily damaged by flooding. And then one day, because the engineers doing all this work weren't getting much sleep, someone came up with the bright idea of fighting a flood with a flood.
"Or fire. Let's try fighting it with fire aga- ... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz."
Normally you fight a flood by building a levee as high as possible along the banks of a river to keep the river where it belongs. Sort of like racism, just for water. But if one of those levees starts to break, forming a new lake behind it, all the old rules get thrown out. Which is exactly what happened in 1993, when a set of levees broke, forming a new lake that began to spread out, threatening the community of Prairie du Rocher. One side of this new lake was formed by the very levees along the Mississippi meant to do the exact opposite of allowing lakes to form. The engineers reasoned that blowing a hole in these main levees would cause a "backflood," which would first stop this stupid new lake from slamming into Prairie du Rocher and the two small levees protecting it and, secondly, allow the lake to drain back into the Mississippi.
"Probably." *20-second yawn*