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The 2011 Mississippi River Floods have been the most damaging along the river since 1993 and may rival the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927. This natural disaster illustrates the importance of emergency planning and preparedness for areas that are more susceptible to severe weather. The Census Bureau has provided a number of reference maps that highlight the impact the floods will have on the population living along the Mississippi River and its tributaries, specifically in areas where the National Weather Service has described the outlook of flooding as either occurring or imminent. Numerous counties in several states have already been declared federal disaster areas.