NBC News' Chief Environmental Affairs Correspondent Anne Thompson has been covering the devastating effects of flooding along the Mississippi River. Reporting from near Baton Rouge, Louisiana, she responded to reader questions about the disaster and the efforts to minimize its impact. Click below to replay the chat.

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Video: Satellite images show rising river's impact

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    >>> goodefeening. we're in the midst of awful flooding along the mississippi river . the worst part is ahead, according to a lot of the experts. surging, unpredictable water flowing toward the mississippi delta now. the river is taking aim at one of the most poverty stricken parts of the country after laying waste to a big chunk of the gambling industry, hundreds of homes, and just about on its way through memphis , tennessee, and it's not too early to say new orleans and the surrounding region could be in flood trouble as this flows south on top of all the troubles we have had. we want to start with anne thompson in louisiana . good evening.

    >> reporter: good evening, brian. louisianians are busy tonight, preparing for this historic flood which has already done so much damage upriver. as the mississippi river barrels south, satellite images reveal its relentless and destructive impact. this was memphis on april 21st before the flood, and this was memphis yesterday. much of the city underwater as the mississippi reclaims its territory. the damage here pegged at $320 million. the swamped casinos in tunica could lose up to $87 million just this month. one economist said the toll could reach $4 billion. up and down the raging river , people race against the clock, filling sandbacks in yazue, mississippi . crews built this temporary levee in the shadow of louisiana 's i-10 that crosses a river basin .

    >> it will be the back-up of the water trying to get out into the gulf. it backs up on us.

    >> that's if officials open the morganza spillway , a relief valve for the mississippi river but a potential disaster for part of southwestern mississippi . it could impact 13,000 buildings, 25,000 people, and 3 million acres of land. 2 1/2 acres belong to john mennard. he's paking up his home and heading for higher ground, leaving his home shattered for this big tough oil working. what is it like to think about losing your house.

    >> no words, no words. i built this myself.

    >> reporter: the river is already above 19 feet. the national weather service has marked a tell phone pole to show residents what could happen. if they open the spillway gates at 50%, so half are open, we're expecting the level to get to 29.

    >> john menard is resigned.

    >> mother nature is mother nature , and there's not much you can do about it, you know.

    >> reporter: few here are willing to take a chance on mother nature . even though the flood is not expecting to hit here until next week, today, we found nurses moving homebound patients out of harm's way.

    >> we have to talk about new orleans, a city which when you mention it, you think of katrina katrina, the oil spill . a city in recovery, continuing to shine, and what is it in for them and this flood.

    >> reporter: well, they're watching the river levels carefully, as you can imagine. city officials met with the army corps of enj noor nears today, and they decided if the rivers rise one more foot, they're going to have to close the floot gate, and that means closeing the port of new orleans . and that's bad news. anne thompson starting us off from louisiana . thanks as always.


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