Discuss as:

'Once in a lifetime' flood submerges farm land

There is an eery beauty to these aerial images of farm fields threatened by water in Mississippi. Full story. Flood slideshow.

Dave Martin / AP

Farmers work as floodwaters from the Mississippi river creep across their fields in Natchez, Miss., Tuesday, May 17. The Coast Guard said it closed the Mississippi River at the port in Natchez, Miss., on Tuesday because barge traffic could increase pressure on the levees. Heavy flooding from Mississippi tributaries has displaced more than 4,000 in the state, about half of them upstream from Natchez in the Vicksburg area.

Dave Martin / AP

Floodwaters from the Mississippi River creep inland across a field of soybeans in Natchez, Miss., Tuesday, May 17. The Coast Guard said it closed the Mississippi River at the port in Natchez, Miss., on Tuesday because barge traffic could increase pressure on the levees. Heavy flooding from Mississippi tributaries has displaced more than 4,000 in the state, about half of them upstream from Natchez in the Vicksburg area.

As high water forces the closing of the Mississippi River to barge traffic at Natchez, Mississippi, the Coast Guard hopes to reduce the water pressure on the levees--but in doing so, it will increase pressure on the economy. NBC's Anne Thompson reports.