The overflowing Mississippi River dealt anguish to its namesake state Thursday, reaching a historic height at Vicksburg, sending backwater up the Yazoo River, which has swallowed a home owned by the governor, and claiming the life of a 69-year-old man.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened the first of potentially several bays of the Morganza spillway on Saturday afternoon, a move intended to spare some areas from severe flooding while redirecting water into others.
One by one, disasters have battered the Deep South in recent years: Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, horrific tornadoes, the Gulf oil spill and now a flood of biblical proportions on the Mississippi River.
Friday's flat stage was snatched by Sandy Casar, a Frenchman riding for Francaise des Jeux. It was one of those long, flat hauls that set up well for a breakaway by a group of Nothing Burgers -- a colleague's expression for riders who've taken up residence in the southern reaches of the general classification.