On May 10, 2011, the Mighty Mississippi more than lived up to its nickname, cresting in Memphis at nearly 48 feet, some 14 feet above flood stage and just shy of the all time record high.
The Mississippi River is scheduled to crest in Tunica, Miss., at 45.5 feet on Saturday, some 12.5 feet lower that the flood of 2011. This season's flooding is considered moderate.
But when you talk to residents who live in Tunica County, this is no flood. They are not evacuating, and it's business as usual at the casinos.
Sharon Mallory and Diane Austin, sitting on the porch at JT's Bait Shop on Lake Road in the Tunica Cutoff on Friday, were surrounded by water.
"There's a party here every night," Mallory said. "You can just walk up the plank and pull your boat up."
There's water in the yards of many of the elevated fish camps in the Tunica Cutoff. Mailboxes and fire hydrants are underwater. Water is also up to the top step of the bait shop and grocery store. If you visit the bait shop you can fish out of the open air windows, or right off the front steps.
Nobody appears to be evacuating from the minor flood in their neighborhood and they seem unphased by it all. The Mississippi is just doing what it does every spring - rise.
"Ya'll should have been here last night," Mallory said. "They fried catfish, caught them right out there."
Up the road on the casino strip the river waters are not threatening the casinos as they did in 2011. At Horseshoe Casino the staff will admit to a flood. But don't misunderstand, we're not talking about the kind of flood that brings in water. It's one that they are hoping brings in a lot of business.
"It's a flood of millionaires yes," said Scott Barber with Caesar's Entertainment. "One winner of $1 million every Saturday."
Sure the water is up in spots here and there in Tunica County, but it's not affecting lives like it did in 2011, and folks don't think that it will again for a long time to come.
Business is good and on the rebound in Tunica.
"I certainly hope the 100 year flood is a 100 year flood," Barber said. "I don't want to ever live through that again."
Many casino owners in Tunica say they are seeing the crowds starting to return to their city little by little. Business is good and starting to pick back up. Casino owners say there is no flood and that they are open for business.
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