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Mississippi River crests in Memphis at nearly 48 feet
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MEMPHIS (AP) — The Mississippi River crested in Memphis at nearly 48 feet on Tuesday, falling short of its all-time record but still soaking low-lying areas with enough water to require a massive cleanup.National Weather Service meteorologist Bill Borghoff says the river reached 47.85 feet at 2 a.m. Tuesday and is expected to stay very close to that level for the next 24 to 36 hours. Hitting the high point means things shouldn’t get worse in the area, but it will take weeks for the water to recede and much longer for inundated areas to recover.“Pretty much the damage has been done,” Borghoff said.The crest is below the record of 48.7 feet recorded during a devastating 1937 flood in Memphis.The soaking was isolated to low-lying neighborhoods, and forced hundreds of people from their homes, but no new serious flooding was expected. Officials trusted the levees would hold and protect the city’s world-famous musical landmarks, from Graceland to Beale Street.“The levees are performing as designed I’m happy to report,” Army Corps of Engineers Col. Vernie Reichling Jr. said Tuesday on CBS’s “The Early Show.”Still, the corps’ Memphis commander added: “I think we'll breathe a sigh of relief once this crest has passed and is in the Gulf of Mexico.”Surrounding Shelby County and four others were declared disaster areas by President Barack Obama late Monday.