Mississippi River Flooding Pictures

As the Mississippi reaches its high point in Memphis and attention turns to a time-consuming clean up, farmers downriver built homemade levees to protect their crops and engineers diverted water into a lake to ease the pressure on New Orleans levees.

Inmates were evacuated to a prison on higher ground and officials contemplated whether to open another spillway north of Baton Rouge.

The soaking in Memphis was isolated to low-lying neighborhoods, and forced hundreds of people from their homes, but no new serious flooding was expected. Officials trusted the levees would hold and protect the city's world-famous musical landmarks, from Graceland to Beale Street.

"It shouldn't get any worse than it currently is," said Elizabeth Burks of the Army Corps of Engineers, standing on a levee on the river's west bank.

To the south, residents in the Mississippi Delta prepared for the worst.

Scott Haynes, 46, estimated he would spend more than $80,000 on contractors to build levees around his house and grain silos, which hold 200,000 bushels of rice that he can't get out before the water comes. Heavy equipment has been mowing down his wheat fields to get to the dirt that is being used to build the levees, and he expected nearly all of his farmland to flood.

"That wheat is going to be gone, anyway," said Haynes, who lives in Carter, Miss., about 35 miles east of the Mississippi River. "We don't know if we're doing the right thing or not, but we can't not do it."

He knows time is not on his side. "I've got to get back on that dozer," he said, before walking away.

Nearby, Ed Jordan (pronounced JER'-din) pointed to a high-water mark about 7-feet high in the family's old general store left by the deadly flood of 1927. Floods have taken crops since then, but the Mississippi River hasn't swamped their homes in generations.

0 Post a Comment: