(MEMPHIS, Tenn.) -- By early Tuesday morning, it appeared that most of Memphis, Tennessee was spared from the flooding of the mighty Mississippi River.
Since the bulk of the city is located on a bluff, only low-lying areas have so far been affected by the nearly 48-foot crest, the highest the nation’s largest river system has reached in Memphis since the Great Flood of 1937. It is expected to reach 48 feet later on Tuesday.
Graceland, Beale Street and other familiar sites in Memphis were largely untouched by the flooding. And even while city officials visited about 1,300 residences in the past few days to urge evacuations, many residents stayed home.
Still, Cory Williams of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Monday night, “We're going to wait until the water goes down a whole lot more and then we'll celebrate success."
It was clear Memphis officials had faith that the city's levees, flood walls and pumps would do their job. The network has come at a cost of over $13 billion throughout the years but the Corps of Engineers says it's been well worth it by preventing an estimated $370 billion in flood damage.
Yet the danger from the Mississippi River is not over for communities and refineries downstream from Memphis. The crest isn’t expected to occur there for another two weeks, which is when the flood waters are due to finally empty into the Gulf of Mexico.
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