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The floodgate at the Morganza Spillway in Morganza, Louisiana, was opened on Saturday, May 14, 2011.
After 3 days, the water from the flooded Mississippi River has reached places like Butte LaRose and St. Landry Parish at the northern end of the basin, putting some houses underwater.
Towns and crop lands along the Atchafalaya River basin that are in the path of the diverted flood waters could be flooded as high as 20 feet in coming days.
On Tuesday, the Coast Guard closed a 15-mile stretch of the Mississippi River at Natchez, Mississippi, north of New Orleans.
Vessels were blocked from heading toward the Gulf of Mexico and from returning north after dropping off their freight.
These barges carry corn, wheat, soybean and others from the Midwest to ports near New Orleans, where they get loaded onto huge grain carriers to be exported around the world.
Below are photos of the flooding along the Mississippi River.
- Water rushes over dirt roads inside the Morganza Floodway as water from the flowing floodway heads south near Krotz Springs, Louisiana, May 17, 2011. (REUTERS/Sean Gardner)