Those floods along the Mississippi River that have already displaced thousands of people are predicted to get even worse in the coming weeks:
The swollen Mississippi River carried its dangers of flooding and damage into the Delta on Wednesday morning as residents in three states including Louisiana prepared for weeks of battling the river’s growing energy.
The river crested just inches below its record stage of 48.7 feet in Memphis, Tenn., on Tuesday. But, by Wednesday morning, the river had passed its record in Natchez, Miss., reaching 58 feet and growing, according to the National Weather Service. Forecasters predict the river will crest in Natchez on May 21 at about 64 feet.
At Vicksburg, Miss., the river is expected to crest at 57.5 feet on May 19, about 1.5 feet above the record crest of 1927, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. In Helena, Ark., the river on Wednesday was at more than 56 feet, about 12 feet above flood stage.
“The flood crest along the Mississippi is forecast to move slowly downstream towards New Orleans during the next three weeks,” the weather service said in a posting on its website Wednesday morning.
“The White River, the Arkansas River, Big Black River are just a few major tributaries that may be impacted by the Mississippi main stem flooding. Interstate 40 west of Memphis between Hazen and Brinkley is closed in both directions due to the White River overflowing its banks. At this time there is no anticipated time for reopening the road," the statement said.
The swollen river has forced thousands of people along the watery route to seek higher ground, hundreds going to shelters. Crops have been washed away, hundreds of millions of dollars in damage has already been reported and more is expected. As the floodwater moves south, officials worry about the impact on Mississippi’s casino industry and later on Louisiana’s petroleum facilities.
There's also lots of concern in the Delta, where these waters are headed: