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Swollen Mississippi pushes south

Thursday, May 12, 2011 - 01:23

May 12 - The rising waters of the Mississippi river push south, flooding millions of acres of farmland and threatening large swathes of Louisiana. Travis Brecher reports.

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Flood waters sweep towards Louisiana -- as the rain-swollen Mississippi river shows no sign of letting up. For these Mississippi casinos, business has ground to a halt. The flooding along North America's largest river has forced thousands to evacuate, and has submerged as many as 3 million acres of farmland in Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas alone. Residents say they have never seen anything like it. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AUSTIN GOLDING, GOLDING BARGE LINE, SAYING: "This is the flood of a generation… nobody's ever seen water this high and it's likely nobody ever will again… this is a monumental flood." Further south in Louisiana, crews are rushing to construct a temporary levee -- as authorities brace for the possible opening of a spillway, which would reduce pressure in Baton Rouge and New Orleans by diverting water here. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MIKE MOSS, LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, SAYING: "It will be the backup of the water from the Mississippi trying to get out through the Atchafalaya River into the Gulf. That backs up on us." This year's flood has been breaking or challenging records set during historic floods in 1927 and 1937. But since the Mississippi River flood of 1927 that killed some 1,000 people, improvements have been made in flood control -- and the construction of dams, levees, reservoirs and flood ways has made record-breaking floods more manageable. Travis Brecher, Reuters

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Swollen Mississippi pushes south

Thursday, May 12, 2011 - 01:23