As a massive crest of water surges south along the Mississippi River, many residents are being forced to pack up and head for higher ground as their homes are tragically inundated with floods.

But some resourceful residents have set up barriers around their homes in attempts to keep the water out, creating virtual islands as the river overtakes the surrounding neighborhoods.

The Mississippi River floods in April and May, 2011 are among the largest and most damaging along the U.S. waterway in the past century, rivaling major floods in 1927 and 1993. As flood waters have proceeded down the Lower Mississippi from the St. Louis area, they have affected Missouri and Illinois, then Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana.

See the amazing photos below