Mississippi Flood Disaster Unfolding

Friday, May 6, 2011
By Paul Martin

On Mississippi River, a disaster slowly unfolds

From Illinois to Louisiana, thousands evacuate amid fears of worst flooding in a century

CBSNews.com

HICKMAN, Ky. – Jail inmates filled sandbag after sandbag to protect one of the many Southern river cities threatened by the swelling Mississippi as it broke more 1930s flood records and crept higher Thursday.

In Missouri, the Army Corps of Engineers blew a third hole in a levee to relieve pressure and prevent catastrophic flooding there and in Illinois and Kentucky. The Mississippi continued to rise in Caruthersville, where a high-mark set in 1937 was surpassed on Wednesday, but was generally going down elsewhere in the state. The water was expected to crest Sunday in Caruthersville at 49.5 feet, just a half-foot below the top of the floodwall protecting the community of 6,700.

Thousands of people from Illinois to Louisiana have already been forced from their homes, and anxiety is rising along with the river, though it could be a week or two before some of the most severe flooding hits.

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