Very slowly, the high waters of the swollen Mississippi River are making their way south to Louisiana. Weeks of heavy rains and runoff from an unusually snowy winter have flooded thousands of homes and over 3 million acres of farmland in Mississippi, Tennessee, and Arkansas. The river is expected to crest at a record height of 58.5 feet sometime today in Vicksburg, Mississippi, 200 miles north of New Orleans. In order to spare larger cities and industrial areas downstream, the U.S, Army Corps of Engineers has opened floodgates in the Morganza Spillway, north of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, allowing an estimated 100,000 cubic feet of river water to flow into the Atchafalaya Basin every second. Collected here are images of the Mississippi and those caught in its path over the past few days — coping, watching and waiting.