Residents of the Mississippi River floodplain are sandbagging or evacuating as the flood crest pushes south. It will pass Memphis on Tuesday and hit southern Louisiana on May 23.
Ted Jackson / The Times-Picayune / AP
Rising Mississippi River floodwaters have threatened cities along America's longest river and prompted President Obama to declare a state of emergency in Mississippi, Tennessee, and Louisiana in recent days. As the crest pushes south, Memphis and the Mississippi Delta region brace for their biggest flood in nearly a century.
New Orleans, with still-fresh memories of hurricane Katrina’s storm surge, should be protected by its levees, but river communities across low-lying parts of Louisiana and Mississippi are watching the approaching crest with alarm.
In Louisiana, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is preparing to open two more spillways (this time, without explosives) to divert floodwaters before the crest reaches Baton Rouge and New Orleans. The Bonnet Carre Spillway, which opens every few years to pour excess river water into Lake Ponchartain, will open at 8 a.m. on Monday morning. The Morganza Spillway, north of Baton Rouge, will probably open – for the first time since 1973 – on Thursday, May 12.
Page 1 of 4