WASHINGTON, March 1 (Xinhua) -- A number of rivers in the southeast of the United States are flooding following recent heavy rains while forecasts say more rain is on the way, local media reported Friday.
Widespread rain is expected from Friday into the weekend for portions of U.S. states of Louisiana, Mississippi and the Carolinas, forecasters say.
The Mississippi River was already at flood stage in areas from Missouri south into the states of Louisiana and Mississippi, according to a CNN report on Friday.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency Friday due to the threat of more rain and flooding along the lower Mississippi region, said the report. The declaration allows the state to coordinate help needed in dealing with possible river flooding.
The U.S. National Weather Service said in the state's capital city, Baton Rouge, the river water already was 1 foot (0.3 meter) above major flood stage and could rise another 2 feet (0.6 meter) over the next two weeks.
In the state of Mississippi, north of Vicksburg, farmers were using bulldozers and other equipment to build levees to protect homes from rising waters this week, CNN affiliate WLBT reported.
In Memphis, a major city in the state of Tennessee, the weather service has issued a flood warning until March 15.
The Tennessee Valley Authority warned Thursday that though the river levels had begun to recede in northern Alabama and western Tennessee, local residents should not let their guard down with more rain expected this weekend.
The Ohio River is also predicted to crest this weekend at Cairo, Illinois, at the third-highest level ever, the national weather service said.
Earlier this week, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant declared a state of emergency for affected counties, while Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin declared an emergency for the entire Bluegrass State.
As many as 14 Tennessee counties remain under a state of emergency, reported WSMV-TV in Nashville, the capital of the state of Tennessee.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened the Bonnet Carre Spillway so as to divert rising water away from New Orleans to sparsely populated areas. Local media said it is the first time in the spillway's 88-years of existence that it needed to be opened in consecutive years, and only the 13th time it has been opened at all.