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To take pressure off levees near Baton Rouge and New Orleans, engineers have opened two major spillways. After water was released over the weekend at the Morganza spillway near Baton Rouge, deputies and National Guardsmen fanned out to warn residents in its path, most of whom have heeded the call to seek higher ground. Snow melt and rain have sent a relentless torrent of water down the Mississippi this spring. On Monday, President Barack Obama flew to Memphis, Tenn., to comfort families affected when the river rose last week to within inches of the record set in 1937. Some low-lying neighborhoods were inundated, but levees protected much of the rest. Downriver in Mississippi and Louisiana, the crews keeping watch on floodwalls and levees included those from the Army Corps of Engineers, various local levee districts, county sheriffs, municipal police forces and private security details. A home is nearly covered with floodwater May 12, 2011 in Vicksburg, Mississippi. The Mississippi river at Vicksburg is expected to crest at a record 58.5 feet. Heavy rains have left the ground saturated, rivers swollen, and have caused widespread flooding in Mississippi, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Arkansas. flood gauge is posted by the road in front of a home May 15, 2011 in Butte LaRose, Louisiana. If the water reaches the flood stage of 27 feet, as predicted, it will be more than half way up the nearby homes. Most of the residents of the small town of Butte LaRose are packing their possessions or moving their entire homes because the town is expected to be severely flooded after the Army Corps of Engineers opened the Morganza spillway to divert floodwater down the Atchafalaya River and away from the cities of New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Brenda Hynum, left, hugs her daughter Debra Emery as she watches floodwaters rise around her mobile home in Vicksburg, Miss., Monday, May 16, 2011. A sand berm they built around their trailer failed in the night and floodwaters from the rising Mississippi river rushed in. "We tried so hard to stop it. It goes from anger to utter disbelief that this could happen. I just want to go home." Emery said.

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view Captured: Mississippi Flooding as presented by: Denver Post


A ferocious storm system that kicked up tornadoes, flash floods and hail as big as softballs rampaged across the southern U.S. over the weekend, killing at least 45 people across six states. North Carolina was the hit the hardest. North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue said she's never seen anything like the destruction caused by the storm system that has claimed at least 21 lives statewide. Annina Purdy, who was inside the Lowe's hardware store in Sanford, N.C. the previous day when a tornado destroyed the building, returned to the store's parking lot on Sunday, April 17, 2011, to reclaim personal belongings from her car. Mackayla Jones comforts a dog with a broken leg in Askewville, N.C., Sunday, April 17, 2011 after a tornado moved through the area Saturday. An aerial photo shows tornado damage at the Lowe's Home Improvement Center in Sanford, N.C. Sunday, April 17, 2011.

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view Storms Rampage Across The Southern U.S. as presented by: Sacramento Bee


So then we considered man-made haunted trails that people purposefully visit to be spooked for Halloween . . . but there are other times when a person is totally alone in some eerie forest that seems a bit enchanted. When the woods seem scary, it could be because you let your imagination run wild. It might be local folklore about a foggy forest, or a moody mist attached to legends and claims that the woods are haunted. How we interpret a setting may be our state of mind at the time, but artists of all kinds have taken to the forest for inspiration. J.R.R. Tolkien used Puzzlewood as his mystical, magical muse that inspired him to create the fabled forests of Middle-earth within The Lord of the Rings. In our Fall Fantasy post, we quoted Vincent Van Gogh as saying, ‘Keep your love of nature, for that is the true way to understand art more and more.’ Perhaps to truly enjoy these pictures, you may need to think of it like an art game….for each picture, imagine if you were all alone in these woods. We were curious what made the streak of fear strike the hearts of photographers who are out alone in the forest. All of these photos were tagged with words like spooky, dark, scary, foggy, or haunted; on any other day, and different state of mind, these might be interpreted as sweet alone time in nature. But tap into your inner artist and let your imagination run wild to “see” what the photographers saw when these “enchanted” woods seemed “haunted” or “spooky” or just flat-out Brothers Grimm scary.

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view When the Woods Are Scary: Enchanted Forests Like Brothers Grimm Broken Fairytales as presented by: Love These Pics



Flooding and landslides from the season's first tropical storm have killed at least 144 people and left thousands homeless in Central America, officials said Monday. Dozens of people are still missing and emergency crews are struggling to reach isolated communities cut off by washed-out roads and collapsed bridges caused by Tropical Storm Agatha. In all some 110,000 people were evacuated in Guatemala. Thousands more have fled their homes in neighboring Honduras, where the death toll rose to 15 even as meteorologists predicted three more days of rain. In El Salvador, at least 179 landslides have been reported and 11,000 people were evacuated. The death toll was nine, President Mauricio Funes said. Agatha made landfall near the Guatemala-Mexico border Saturday as a tropical storm with winds up to 45 mph (75 kph). It dissipated the following day over the mountains of western Guatemala. Rescue efforts in Guatemala have been complicated by a volcanic eruption Thursday near the capital that blanketed parts of the area with ash. Guatemala City's La Aurora airport remained closed Sunday because of heavy ash that fell from last week's eruptions of Pacaya volcano. But volcanic activity had tapered off Sunday, allowing helicopters and small planes to deliver aid to communities still unreachable on washed out roads. People try to cross the overflowed Huiza River as others look from a damaged bridge in La Libertad, 40 km south of San Salvador. An orange alert was issued by the Salvadorean goverment on Saturday due to heavy rains, as tropical storm Agatha already killed one person, authorities said. A couple remove mud with a bucket the from their home, destroyed by tropical strom Agatha on May 30, 2010, in the village of Los Almendros, in the municipality of Palin, Escuintla 39 km south of Guatemala City. People look at a car destroyed by a mudslide caused by tropical storm Agatha on May 30, 2010, in the municipality of Palin, Escuintla, 36 km south of Guatemala City.

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view Volcanos and storms ravage Central and South America as presented by: Sacramento Bee


A Vietnam War veteran has released incredible night-time photographs he took of American troops opening fire on a Viet Cong sniper who had been firing on a U.S. Army camp. For more than four decades, photographer James Speed Hensinger kept these incredible photographs to himself, not releasing them to the public until now. Hensinger was just a 22-year-old paratrooper with the 173rd Airborne Brigade in April 1970 when a Viet Cong sniper began spraying automatic rifle fire on Hensinger's base in Phu Tai, near the coastal city of Da Nang. 'We were pissed off at taking Viet Cong sniper fire from the mountain above us several nights in a row,' Hensinger, now 66 and living outside Denver, Colorado, recalls. 'The guy would stand up from behind a rock and blow off a clip from his AK47 on full-auto. The sniper was shooting at such a high angle that most of his rounds came through the sheet metal roofs of our hooches. 'We decided to use a "heavy" response the next time the sniper hit us.' The following night, Hensinger set up his Nikon FTN camera to take long exposures to capture the firefight. Each shot includes 15 to 60 seconds of gunfire. When the Viet Cong sniper began shooting, the Americans unleashed hell. An M42 self-propelled anti-aircraft gun began pouring cannon and machine gun fire into the hills above the camp.

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view The Moment U.S. Troops Unleashed Hell On Viet Cong Sniper In Hills Above An Army Camp as presented by: Daily Mail Online


Simple and efficient, rail travel nonetheless inspires a sense of romance. By train, subway, and a seemingly endless variety of trams, trolleys, and coal shaft cars, we've moved on rails for hundreds of years. Industry too relies on the billions of tons of freight moved annually by rolling stock. An employee adjusts a CRH380B high-speed Harmony bullet train as it stops for an examination during a test run at a bullet train exam and repair center in Shenyang, China. Freight trains are readied at the railroad shunting yard in Maschen, Germany on September 23, 2012. Parts of old locomotives are seen in the train cemetery in Uyuni, near a salt flat some 290 miles south of La Paz on November 5, 2012. These locomotives and freight cars were part of Bolivia's first railway network that carried minerals between Uyuni and Antofagasta, Chile, nearly a century ago.

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view By rail as presented by: Boston Big Picture


Twenty-five awesome photos from The Denver Post’s photographic archives. From a 1929 Denver cattle auction to a 1972 anti-war protest in Boulder and much more. NOV 20 1968 - Trick Shooter Ray Hollander takes Aim at Cigarette in the Mouth of his wife, Genie. The performer who lost hand and part of another credits a 1955 Denver appearance on being a turning point in life. 11-7-1952 - Worker Extracted from Cavein-Police and fire department rescue crews were called Tuesday afternoon to extricate Lyle Zigler at 107 Lincoln street, a construction worker, after he was trapped under several hundreds pounds of earth while working on a sewer excavation project at Smith road and Grape street. OCT 17 1963 - Negro Looks Into White Barbershop, Stronghold of Segregation in Public Accommodations. Officials say white barbers, by custom, do not cut Negroes' hair. If Negro insists, barber often gives poor haircut.

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view 25 Awesome Photos from The Denver Post Archive as presented by: Denver Post


Alec Soth with Francesco Zanot: Ping Pong Conversations (Contrasto, October 2013) “is a long, friendly conversation” between Minneapolis-based photographer Alec Soth and the Italian curator and critic Francesco Zanot. “Analyzing his most famous photographs as well as others that have been published or are virtually unknown, Soth reflects upon his career as a photographer. Each picture gives rise to a charter of its own, an original thought or reflection,” the publisher said in a statement about the book. Soth and Zanot discuss the use of color versus black-and-white photographs, staged versus candid photographs, and personal and political issues in conversations that “constitute both a complex examination of Alec Soth’s work and a manual on the reading of photography itself.”

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view Alec Soth on His Work and Photography as presented by: Photo District News



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