Water levels in the dangerously surging Mississippi River in the Memphis area are peaking towards near-historic levels leading to some residents abandoning their homes and moving to safer locations.

The National Weather Service forecast that in the coming three weeks, the flood crest along the Mississippi will slowly move downstream towards New Orleans. Some of the major tributaries that will be affected by the Mississippi main stem flooding will be the White River, the Arkansas River and the Big Black River.

In some of the areas like Memphis and Louisiana, water levels are even expected to cross the Great Floods of 1927 and 1937 that caused widespread devastation of lives and property. Recorded as one of the most destructive flood in the history of the United States, the 1927 Mississippi Flood caused over $400 million in damages and killed around 246 people in seven states.

The Associated Press reported that a separate spillway northwest of New Orleans was to be opened on Monday in order to help ease the pressure on levees there, and inmates were set to be evacuated the same day from the low-lying state prison in Angola.

Although there have been no reports of injuries or death in the region, emergency officials are working to control the situation with increasing focus on the maintenance of accessible roadways and establishment of proper relief centers.

Start the slideshow to know more about the 2011 Mississippi Floods that are racing towards record-levels: