Slow-moving disaster along mighty Mississippi

After Birds Point Levee breach
After Birds Point Levee breach

HICKMAN, KY (AP) - Anticipating a slow-motion disaster that could break flood records dating to the 1920s, thousands of people from Illinois to Louisiana have already been forced from their homes, and anxiety is rising along with the Mississippi River.

Up and down the river, farmers are bracing for a repeat of the desperate strategy employed earlier this week in Missouri, where Army engineers blew up a levee and sacrificed vast stretches of farmland to protect populated areas upstream.

Forecasters and emergency officials say some of the high-water records set during the great floods of 1927 and 1937 could fall.

But because of the system of levees and locks built since those disasters more than 70 years ago, flooding this time is unlikely to be anywhere near as devastating.

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