Photos: Come High Water, Homemade Levees May Save The Day

May 20, 2011

Claire O'Neill

Scott Olson
A levee protects a home surrounded by floodwater from the Yazoo River near Vicksburg, Miss., May 18, 2011.
Scott Olson
A wider aerial photo shows how the flooded Mississippi River has forced the Yazoo River to top its banks where the two meet near Vicksburg, Miss., causing towns and farms upstream to flood on Wednesday.
Scott Olson
Floodwaters inundate homes in Vicksburg, Miss., on Wednesday.

According to our news blog, the flooding Mississippi River has crested lower than expected in Vicksburg, Miss., but the Army Corps of Engineers warns it will be days before the surging waters recede, The Associated Press reports.

The city had been preparing for days for the floodwaters to arrive; and before evacuating the area, some residents and farmers took matters into their own hands and built personal levees to protect their homes from floodwaters. Some of the levees rise as high as the roof, if not higher.

These photos, taken by Getty photographer Scott Olson, were filed Wednesday. As of Thursday, some of the houses remained safe, though others had already been flooded. There are few photos from this area from today; time will gauge the success of these last-ditch efforts. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit