TODAY   |  April 22, 2013

Midwest braces against flood waters

After heavy rains, waters across the Midwest are rising fast, with at least three people dead and more showers expected on Tuesday. NBC’s John Yang reports.

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>>> a major story we're following this morning, rising flood waters along the mississippi river out in the midwest. we're seeing some dramatic rescues and unfortunately, more rain is on the way. we'll talk to al about that in a second. but right now, nbc's john yang is in hard hit clarksville , missouri. good morning to you.

>> reporter: the people of clarksville are waking up this morning to discover that the river has risen quite a bit overnight, but the good news is the frantic sandbagging efforts are protecting the downtown from the rising waters. across the midwest this morning, waters are rising fast . here in clarksville , they've had lots of practice at this. it's flooded at least four times in the last 18 years. this year, it came early.

>> it came very fast. faster than '08. and we don't have the help we had in '08. so everybody's pulling together and doing the best they can.

>> reporter: at least three people have died in flood waters, including an indiana man whose pickup truck was swept away by the rushing waters of a swollen creek north of indianapolis.

>> he was good enough to let his dog out. we got the dog and he didn't make it.

>> reporter: the army corps of engineers shut blocks. near st. louis, more than 100 barges broke free in the rain-swollen mississippi, some hitting a bridge.

>> ten barges have sunk or partially sunk and are located in or around the channel.

>> reporter: across the region, neighborhoods were evacuated. roads closed, and hundreds of acres of farmland are under water. it's all the result of last week's torrential storms, which dumped a month's worth of rain in a matter of hours. and it's just beginning.

>> it could take a week for all that water to make its way to other areas, especially through the mississippi valley .

>> reporter: for many, it's part of life on the river. in clarksville , douglas gitten said the deck of his house felt like the deck of a ship.

>> when the river's low, it's a beauty. when it's high, it's a beast.

>> reporter: officials say it's probably about as high as the water is going to get here, but it's all moving down river, cresting in st. louis probably tomorrow and south of there later in the week. matt?

>> john yang in missouri this