Nightly News | May 12, 2011
>>> good evening, we've been covering these floodwaters rampaging down the mississippi river for days now. it's already destroyed many homes and businesses. for many, the next big problem is new orleans . today the new orleans mayor took a stand, said that city won't flood. the question is, who will? tonight 14 counties in mississippi are disaster areas. we could be looking at 5,000 homeless americans very soon. we start off again with nbc's anne thompson where there are fears locally this water is coming right for them, anne good evening.
>> reporter: take a look at this. the river is already covering the morgan city wharf. and this water could go another six feet higher if officials open that spill way and send the mississippi river down here. morgan city has this seawall to protect it. tonight in louisiana and mississippi , people are wondering if the protections they have are enough.
>> the water's going up to a new record here.
>> reporter: as the mississippi rises, neighborhoods disappear.
>> this is the most water that these houses have ever gotten into them.
>> reporter: these are the heart wrenching scenes from greenville, mississippi .
>> here we have a hog trying to make it to dry ground.
>> this is just sickening.
>> reporter: down river near vehicles burg, william jefferson can only row home.
>> it's like being shot in the arm.
>> reporter: the mississippi won't crest here until next week. further south, the bulging river threatens louisiana's most populated corridor. from baton rouge to new orleans there are a million people. to protect this area, officials may open the morganza spill way toward tim's neighborhood.
>> this is the price you pay for living in paradise.
>> reporter: around the house where he lives with his wife and two children. he builds a wall of sandbags with determination.
>> i'm hoping i'm overprepared but you never know. i raised my family here.
>> reporter: the national guard is helping to defend morgan city by shoring up levees, protect it from a rear assault and river water with bayous that they hope never make it to the gulf of mexico . because the levees are in complete, this mayor says his city is at risk.
>> we understand we live on a floodway, but you have to finish the job. and to finish the job, you have to go all the way to the gulf of mexico .
>> the arlings parish reports they do not expect we will have any impacts from flooding.
>> reporter: that is good news for the city of new orleans . for communities up and down the flood zone like morgan city , they are doing everything they can to protect themselves. they only hope it is enough. brian?