Try to put yourself in the place of some of the farmers and other homeowners in the Mississippi basin, as flood waters continue to rise and take out vast inland areas with a slow motion, watery disaster. Some of them are just too close to the Big Muddy. Others were warned that spill gates were begin opened and their lands would be sacrificed to save major population centers. You know the water is coming, so what do you do?

You might just pack your things and leave, hoping that the government will cough up some disaster relief funds to help you start over. Perhaps you’ll consider just packing it in and moving to higher ground permanently. Or maybe, if you’re in the Vicksburg, Mississippi area near the cresting Yazoo River, you’ll say to hell with waiting for the government to do something, roll up your sleeves, and get to work.

We’ve all undertaken home improvements but these residents in flood-stricken Mississippi have had to embark on major construction projects just to protect their houses and livelihoods.

These homes in Vicksburg are all situated along the Yazoo River, a tributary of the overflowing Mississippi River, and their owners have surrounded themselves with tons of earth and sand.

With questions over whether the main levees that protect the area from floods would hold, these farmers took no chances and have so far saved their homes and crops from destruction.

We’re going to include a couple of pictures below of some absolutely remarkable testaments to American ingenuity, work and determination, but when you’re done, click through the link for even more mind bending examples. This first one was a guy who wasn’t going to take any chances with his family’s domain.

Islands in the Stream 1

This next example shows a family with even more land to protect and more work to do. But they put in the time and seem to have pulled it off.

Islands in the Stream 2

Sadly, not everyone could manage the feat in time to save the ranch. Here is a family that came close, but wound up losing the battle to Mother Nature.

Islands in the Stream 3

I know the government isn’t supposed to play favorites, but when the time comes to provide aid and relief to the residents of Vicksburg, I hope these folks get moved to the head of the list. They absolutely put in one heck of an effort.

As I said previously, check out the full linked article. The photographs of the work these people have put in to save their homes is simply remarkable.