Overflowing misery in Mississippi

Flood waters that may continue to rise for several days and weeks have disrupted life and forced many out of their homes in the United States.

I met Estelle today.  She’s a long way from home, forced out by the Mississippi flooding.
“There’s no place like home,” she said.
Estelle’s staying in temporary accommodation, known locally as “Canadaville”, here in Simmesport Louisiana, that’s been housing victims of Hurricane Katrina and now offers refuge for families forced out by the flooding.
“We heard the water was very dangerous up north.  Cairo.  Tennessee.  Coming very fast.  Very high, very dangerous.  So we didn’t want to take a chance so we started packing up to move.”
She’s waiting for the all clear with her three dogs, Jack, Panda and Reeces, and wonders what’s happening at her house which lies at the confluence of three rivers.
“I just wish we could get some definite answers. You know, to go back or if its going to crest and fall down or come back up high again.” 
South of where Estelle is living can be found the awesome power of water from the Morganza Floodway which is open for the first time in forty years to ease pressure on the mighty Mississippi.
It’s being diverted to the Atchafalya River Basin … threatening farms and homes all the way to Morgan City.
But drought means more of the water has been absorbed than scientists expected slowing the flooding towards inhabited areas to a trickle.
Estelle knows only too well how awful living in a flooded home can be … she remembers the last time it happened here in 1973.
“The floor was damaged, all buckled, about two feet of mud, may be more than that.  The walls were all stained.  The worst smell. Snakes!”
The pace of the man made flooding from the Morganza may be slower than expected but signs that the water is creeping up can be seen everywhere down stream.
We had to drive a long way to find what we think is the edge of the flood zone. 
The Atchafalya River is the first destination for the flood waters from the Morganza and when it’s full the flooding of towns and farmland will begin in earnest. 
At present it can be seen seeping gradually closer to small towns like Krotz Springs and Butte La Rose. This is good news for homeowners who have more time to get their stuff out but it doesn’t mean that they’re off the hook. 
The level could keep rising for the next several days and weeks according to the experts, threatening a way of life that is hundreds of years old.
As I write I’m listening to a local radio station that’s reporting mandatory evacuations for Butte La Rose have been ordered from Saturday.
Here we go!