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Memphis, Tennessee

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Jeff Roberson / AP

Floodwater is seen inside a building Monday, May 9, 2011, in Memphis, Tenn. Memphis residents are waiting for the Mississippi River to reach its peak expected as early as Monday night as the river rises near its highest level ever in Memphis, flooding pockets of low-lying neighborhoods.

Associated Press photographer Jeff Roberson said about making this picture:

I’ve been covering floods for The Associated Press for nearly 20 years, and I’ve spent the last two weeks following the latest one down the Mississippi River. You’re looking at one of the latest stops in my journey, a building in Memphis with two signs outside: “Peaches Bar” and “For rent.” I took this picture through a window — really, the hole where a window used to be — while standing in thigh-deep water. The routine was pretty typical for flood coverage: Make sure my tetanus shot is up to date (it is), grab the go pack I keep in the attic, drive to the edge of the water, put on chest waders and walk into the floodwaters, very slowly, being careful not to step into a manhole or off the end of a submerged ledge. If you can call any of that typical.

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The Mississippi River and tributaries continue to rise, reaching record crests, and the worst may still be to come. Portions of Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Arkansas are under water, with more to come. Pressure on levees led the Army Corps of Engineers to blow up a section below Cairo, Ill, inundating 130,000 acres of farmland while saving the town. As a bulge of river water makes its way downstream, levees are stressed and rivers that empty into the Mississippi have no outlet, backing up and flooding even more land. The bulge will reach the Delta later this month, and millions of acres are threatened. -- Lane Turner (33 photos total)
Floodwaters from the Mississippi River on May 3 swamp the area north of New Madrid, Mo. (Jeff Roberson/AP)

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