The angry, relentless floods along the Mississippi and Memphis have caused massive destruction in property and have also led to mass scale evacuation. People are feeling enslaved to the wrath of nature and have no other option but to cooperate with the authorities.

So, what does the immediate future hold? How deep is the issue going to be? As of now, all eyes are on the crux of the matter, the Mississippi River and the huge wave of water, it is moving to the southern area, pushing back its tributaries into the towns and counties along its banks. This has made the residents move along the higher ground.

It has been quite a feat with officials giving their best to fight the flooding at the White River in Arkansas, where hundreds of homes have been flooded and there has been a recorded case of two deaths. The tributaries have washed away parts of the city; especially the suburban areas in Memphis, mobile home parks and have even submerged a small airport.

In fact, there are still fourteen days left before the river can crest in the delta. Experts says that by the time the river flows past Natchez in May 22, it will reach dizzying heights, more than the previous worst in 1927; when the river broke its banks, killed hundred and rendered thousands homeless, over 27,000 square miles. The flood control system at that time may not have been the best of its kind but even in the present times, it can be put to intense test.

Experts say that unlike the 1927 flood, the levees along the Mississippi River are not so much of an issue as is the backwater, the tributaries that carry water from heavy rains to the Mississippi. The river not capable to take any more water is pushing it to the tributaries from where it flows to the lands. This is clearly what happened in the case of the White River in Arkansas, leading to the evacuation of towns along its course and the closure of a stretch between Memphis and Little Rock.

The Yazoo River, which forms the eastern border of the delta before merging in the Mississippi, towards the northern area of Vicksburg, is the biggest point of concern now. By May 20, the Yazoo backwater will begin submerging the levees by a foot or more, and even pour into a place just west of Yazoo city, where there are no levees. The flooding can destroy corn fields, thousands of acres of farmland and even find its way into the homes of people. The Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce, estimates that more than 500,000 acres of cropland may be flooded according to current projections. The businesses will be shut down by early next week, mostly the ones that are on the luxury side like casinos. Evacuations that are in full sway and the authorities are looking for the best options for people to relocate temporarily.

Updated: May 13, 2011 — 4:03 pm
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