One day after the Army Corps of Engineers began opening floodgates in Louisiana, many towns known for their Cajun culture were virtually empty Monday.
Waters released by those newly opened portals have begun submerging houses and roads and transforming farmlands into lakes.
Officials opened the floodgates to protect the more heavily populated cities of Baton Rouge and New Orleans, along with oil and chemical facilities.
"They are saying 30 to 60,000 people will probably get flooded, but the alternative to that is possibly losing Baton Rouge and New Orleans, and you alking about well over a million people and billions and billions of dollars of industry," Louisiana resident Jerry Berger said.
"We are going to lose some crops here and some people will lose some work time, but you have got to look at the big picture, I guess," he added.
The National Guard and sheriff's deputies told communities facing the flooding to evacuate the affected areas. They warned those who refused that they would not be back to check on them.
"They say we have to leave town. We have nowhere to go," Melville resident Mary Ryder told the Associated Press. "What are we going to do? I have no idea. We need help up here."
Meanwhile, residents have spent the last few days doing what they can to save their homes.
"I put some visqueen to block the water, and I put some sand to hold it back," Butte LaRose resident Ron Angelle said.
"This is the house that we raised our children in, and this is what we would really like to keep, you know," resident Laurie Trahan said.
In communities along the rising Mississippi River, some are relying on their faith.
"I worry because we haven't got any insurance, and I just have to believe that God has his hands on us and we are going to be okay," resident Cheryl Trimmer said.
Meanwhile, President Obama is set to visit Tennessee Monday to view damage caused by the flooding and to meet with several families affected by it.