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Monday, Aug. 29, 2016

Residents west of Finley airstrip told to consider evacuation

Saturday, April 30, 2011

An aerial photo shows the floodwaters of the Mississippi River at the I-155 Bridge separating Dyer County and Caruthersville, Mo. The river was at 44.05 feet on the Caruthersville gauge on Saturday. The river is expected to surpass the 1937 record level of 46 feet by late Monday and rise to 46.88 feet by Thursday.

Although there have not been any mandatory evacuations in Dyer County since Wednesday, Dyer County Emergency Management Director James Medling said people west of the airstrip in Finley should consider evacuating the area.

"Water is creeping up and they seriously need to think about moving out," said Medling.

On Saturday, a representative from Congressman Steve Cohen's office, Randy Wade, went out with Dyer County Sheriff Jeff Box and Medling to survey the flooding west of Great River Road.

Medling said waters have overtopped the Dyer County little levee at a couple of places. The levee, west of Great River Road, was artificially breached by the Dyer County Levee and Drainage Board on Wednesday to relieve pressure on it.

Box said waters were close to waist deep on Saturday at Everett's Lake Grocery on Highway 104 below Great River Road.

According to the National Weather Service, the water level of the Obion River at Mengelwood was at 33.17 feet on Saturday afternoon, with no projected crest level. The historical crest there was set in 1962 when the river reached 34.6 feet. The level of the Obion River at Bogota was 20.17 feet, with a projected crest of 25 feet on Wednesday. The flood stage there is 22 feet.

Medling also said people in the low-lying areas of Lenox need to keep an eye on the rising waters from the Obion River as well.

This house on James Moore Road stands surrounded by water near the confluence of the Obion and Mississippi rivers.
"People in all of the low-lying areas need to be watchful and vigilant," said Medling.

He stated a significant amount of rainfall over the next several days could affect water levels along the Obion and Forked Deer River.

"That could change the whole game," said Medling.

There has also been some concern by residents on whether or not the waters of the Mississippi River would overtop Great River Road, but Medling dispelled that possibility.

"I don't think there is any danger of that happening at all," said Medling.

He noted residents in Southtown in Dyersburg should be vigilant in watching the water levels of the Forked Deer River and be prepared to evacuate if flooding takes place.

Water continues to rise where the Dyer County levee was breached Wednesday.
On Saturday afternoon, the north fork of the Forked Deer River in Dyersburg was at 23.57 feet, with a projected crest of 25.5 feet on Wednesday. During last year's flooding, the crest was 31.21 feet.

In Lake County, a secondary levee at Sheep Ridge did break on Friday around noon. Investigator Joe Vernon with the Lake County Sheriff's Department stated the break does not pose a risk to any property or the main levee.

"It only separated some rural farm land, just west of the Mooring community," stated Vernon.

At 3 p.m. on Saturday, the level of Mississippi River was at 44.05 feet on the Caruthersville, Mo. gauge. This is the closest National Weather Service gauge to Dyer County. The river is expected to surpass the 1937 record level of 46 feet by late Monday and rise to 46.88 feet by Thursday.

Waters flow through a break in a secondary levee at Sheep Ridge in Lake County. The break is said not to pose a risk to property or the main levee on the Mississippi River.
According to the Southeast Missourian newspaper, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is positioning to blow the Birds Point levee in Mississippi County, Mo. On Saturday, Maj. Gen. Michael Walsh gave the order to move barges carrying 265 tons of explosives upriver in Kentucky from Hickman to Wickliffe. Blowing the Birds Point levee is expected to prevent unplanned breaches of the levee in Cairo, Ill. and reduce the amount of flooding at other locations along the river. Corps officials said the general has yet to decide whether he will blow the levee and will re-evaluate the situation on Sunday.

Corps officials have said blowing the levee would reduce floodwaters at Cairo by as much as 7 feet.

Medling said just because the corps is positioning itself to blow the levee does not mean it has actually decided to perform the operation.

"They have positioned themselves before and have not done it," said Medling.

He also added he wasn't 100 percent sure that blowing the levee there would alleviate flooding from the Mississippi River in Dyer County.

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency released procedures to follow for residents in West Tennessee who could be affected by flooding.

A herd of deer roams next to the floodwaters of the Mississippi River in Lake County. Numbers of wildlife have been displaced by the rising waters in the rural areas.
* Stay calm. Evacuation can work properly and reduce your risk only if you act safely and calmly.

* Gather items to take with you that you or your family might need, such as any special medication, toilet articles, special diet food, blankets and pillows, checkbook, credit cards, important papers and a change of clothing.

* For pet owners, make sure you have all vaccination records, contact information on pet and carrier and any medications. Owners can also use luggage tags to attach to carriers for pet identification.

* If you are asked to evacuate the area, lock your home securely and tie a white cloth or towel on your front door to indicate to emergency officials that you have gone.

* Time will be important, but drive safely. If you do not have transportation, try to ride with a neighbor or call 9-1-1.

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