"Memphis Officials Keep Close Eye as Mississippi River Nears Crest"

"As the Mississippi River continued carrying near-record amounts of water past Memphis, draining storm-drenched lands stretching from the Rocky Mountains to the Appalachians, officials combined messages of reassurance and caution.

Reassurance: Even as the river finally crests in Memphis today at about 48 feet -- a full 14 feet above Memphis' flood stage and just off the record 48.7 feet set in 1937 -- the flood-control systems are working as designed to prevent widespread catastrophe. Only minor issues have been seen on the 1,200-plus miles of levees in the U.S. Army Engineer District, Memphis.

Caution: The danger will remain in the Mid-South for weeks, long after those national news crews that descended on Memphis on Sunday and Monday have moved on to the next center of the news universe. And Mississippi and Louisiana are bracing for record crests."

Zack McMillin reports for the Memphis Commercial Appeal May 10, 2011.

SEE ALSO:

"Floods Along the Mississippi River Lead To Renewed Calls for a Change in Strategy" (Washington Post)

"Flooding Peaks in Memphis; Downstream Danger Lurks" (AP)

"Floods Along Mighty Mississippi Swamp Farms, Homes" (AFP)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011