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Louisianans in Low-Lying Areas Brace for the Worst from Floods

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW ORLEANS) -- To save Louisiana’s largest cities, some of the smallest ones will have to suffer.

By late Sunday night, the Army Corps of Engineers had opened nine flood gates at Louisiana's Morganza Spillway in a last-ditch attempt to relieve pressure on levees caused by the rapidly-rising waters of the Mississippi River.  The decision means New Orleans and Baton Rouge will be spared massive flooding.

However, it's estimated that thousands of homes in Louisiana's lowlands and millions of acres of farmlands will be submerged.

Residents living in Krotz Springs, Melville and other down river communities can do little now but gather what possessions they can and evacuate.

It was the great flood of 1927 that killed 246 people and swamped 165 million acres, leaving 600,000 people homeless, that led to creation of the Corp of Engineers.

They were authorized by the government to allow flood waters to flow from some levees in order to prevent a future catastrophic flood.  Then as now, that means keeping the most populated areas dry at the expense of less populated regions.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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