Memphis is bracing itself for near-record flooding as forecasters predict the mighty Mississippi River could crest late Monday in the city.
About 2 million cubic feet of floodwater from the river is already flowing through Memphis every second. The Mississippi is now expected to crest at 48 feet within 24 hours.
"I've been in Memphis for 62 years and never in my life have I ever seen anything like this," inspector Rennie Given said.
There has already been a lot of damage, and some fear the levee system protecting the city may not hold. Still, the Army Corp of Engineers has said not to worry.
"There is no potential possibility of any failures on the Mississippi River levees," Col. Vernie Reichling assured.
The flooding is the worst to strike the area since the 1920s.
"This is the second greatest flood in history," explained John Barry, author the of book Rising Tide. "1927 would rank first, then comes this one. This is going to test the system."
More than 1,300 residents have been ordered to evacuate. Another 240 have been warned they may need to leave, and nearly 400 people are staying in shelters.
The Nailor's home hasn't been hit yet, but the floodwaters are only a block away.
"It's my house," Sherrica Nailor said as she prepped for the rising water. "It's my house, and once everything's over and done with, I would prefer to have somewhere to stay."
The Mississippi flooding is so vast that it could be early June before the river is back within its banks in Memphis.
Louisiana prison officials have also started moving prisoners out of a state penitentiary north of Baton Rouge that's bordered on three sides by the Mississippi River.
North of New Orleans, a spillway was opened Monday morning to protect the city from flooding. Water from the Mississippi River in that area will now go into Lake Pontchartrain.
Two other major Louisiana spillways are also expected to be opened soon.
Authorities say the Mississippi River flooding could potentially affect as many as 4 million people.