The Mississippi River flooded Memphis, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas. These ares are still recovering from damage from the previous disasters. “I went through Katrina. I would not wish flooding on anyone, and this city is the last place on Earth that needs any more high water.” said New Orleans resident Lynn Magnuson.
On Tuesday, he river crested in Memphis, measuring 47.8 feet, which is short of a record set in 1937. A crest is the high point of the water during a flood before it begins to retreat.
In Natchez, Mississippi, the river exceeded 58 feet on Wednesday. The National Weather Service predicts the river will crest in Natchez on May 21 at 64 feet. Mississippi has closed some of its casinos at Tunica as the waters crept up. About 600 people of Tunica and Cutoff had to leave their homes due to the rising waters.
The Farm Bureau in Arkansas said damage to the state agriculture could top $500 million since more than a million acres of cropland are under water. The river was at over 56 feet Wednesday in Helena, Arkansas.
Louisiana Governor, Bobby Jindal, said at least 3 million acres may be affected by flooding. About 21 parishes have issued emergency declarations and about 500 National Guard members have been mobilized so far. Louisiana expects the river’s crest next week. Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu said, “After hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike, as well as the oil spill, Louisiana can ill-afford another large-scale disaster. Billions of dollars in property is at stake, not to mention the threat to human life.”
The levees protecting the area have shown only minor weaknesses and workers have been able to control it. The major flooding also continues to be a problem in southeastern Missouri and southern Illinois and the Mississippi and Ohio rivers have already crested in these states.
President Obama signed disaster declarations for Tennessee. This will help direct federal aid toward recovery efforts in areas hit by severe storms, flooding and tornadoes.