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Tennessee authorities have warned residents to leave their homes in Memphis as the Mississippi River reaches close to record levels.

Low-lying neighbourhoods have already been cleared.

The area is suffering its worst flooding since the 1930’s.

In some parts the river has swollen to a width of 4 kilometres, six times wider than normal, and is flowing at speeds of 19 kilometres an hour.

As many as 3,000 homes and businesses have been damaged in the floods caused by melting snow and heavy rain.

To add to the difficulties those in the disaster zone are being advised to watch out for displaced snakes, alligators and rats as they seek shelter on higher ground.

Graceland the former home of Mr Hips, the late Elvis Presley is said to out of harms way.

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