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.