The ongoing flood situation along the Mississippi River threatens hundreds of thousands of square miles, including the Louisiana cities of New Orleans and Baton Rouge.
Many low-lying areas surrounding the Mississippi River have already been affected, after record flood levels have been reached. With the opening of the Morganza Spillway, evacuations have been taking place in the area as the region braces for the oncoming floodwaters. Opening the spillway is expected to affect more than 25,000 people in an area of the country that is economically important to the country as a whole.
The floods are a result of heavy rains, which have left the ground saturated, rivers swollen, and have already caused widespread flooding in Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana.
Click ahead for scenes from the flooding from the affected areas.
Updated 16 May 2011