- Category: News
12 May 2011
- Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom
Flood Information Hotline (901) 324-8799
What’s new (as of Wednesday afternoon)
• Recovery efforts from the recent flood will be slow and costly. Code inspectors with the City of Memphis and Shelby County Governments will conduct assessments of the flood damage. It may be several days before damage reports are complete due to the high flood waters
On May 8, 1925, Tom Lee, an African-American levee worker who could not swim, rescued 32 people from the Mississippi River. Now the park named in Lee’s honor is filled with floodwaters that have risen to the base of this memorial – one of two that note Lee’s heroics. (Photos by Tyrone P. Easley)
Volunteers muscle up to fill sandbags on site at the Pyramid, a downtown Memphis landmark, with the rising Mississippi River expected to crest in Memphis at 48 feet on Tuesday, May 10.
• Officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will soon establish disaster recovery centers in Shelby County. Victims will need a claim number to file for benefits. Claim numbers can be obtained in one of three ways: (1) Phone: 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), (2) Internet: www.disasterassistance.gov or (3) in person at a disaster recovery center (locations not chosen yet)
• Many roads are blocked by high water. Motorists should expect traffic delays for the next several days and not go around barricades. Vehicles can be carried into rivers and creeks by only a few inches of water. Submerged roads can also hide erosion and deep sinkholes
Dangers of floodwaters
• Be aware of snakes. As rivers and creeks rise, snakes will be looking for food and shelter inside houses, storage sheds and buildings.
Officials with the Shelby County Health Department say people should not come into contact with floodwaters. Sewage and other contaminates can make people seriously ill especially if cuts and open wounds become infected. See additional information regarding health concerns of river water at the flood information website: www.staysafeshelby.us
• Officers and deputies are making extra patrols through neighborhoods that have been evacuated
• Law enforcement officers will issue citations to those who disregard barricades or block traffic to sight-see
Shelby County Office of Preparedness shelters
Those needing shelter are to first go to the shelter service center at Raleigh Springs Mall at the corner of Austin Peay at Yale Road. Flood victims will then be assigned to a shelter:
1. Hope Presbyterian Church, 8500 Walnut Grove Road
2. Cummings Street Baptist Church, 250 East Raines
3. Millington Civic Center, 8077 Wilkinsville Road, Millington, TN
4. Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church, 70 north Bellevue
5. Faith Baptist Church, 3755 North Germantown Road
The Shelby County Office of Preparedness has a partnership with several churches in the area. They will join in the shelters effort when needed.
Call (901) 324-8799 for information. For up-to-date occupancy rates, go to www.StaySafeShelby.us
FEMA assistance for those affected by the floodwaters
• Victims will need a claim number to file for benefits. Obtain a claim number in one of three ways:
1. By phone: 1-800-621-FEMA (3362)
2. By Internet: www.disasterassistance.gov
3. In person: Go to a disaster recovery center (to be announced)
• MLGW supervisors at the emergency operations center are monitoring the effects of the flooding
• Report flooding to (901) 544-MLGW (6549) or (901) 820-7878 (Quick access codes 1-1-1 (English) or 3-1-1 (Spanish)
• Stay away from anything electrical that may be in contact with water and always assume that it’s energized
• You should never attempt to operate breakers or switches that are wet or under water
• Never attempt to disconnect or remove your electric meter; call MLGW for assistance
• Should water damage your home’s electrical system or appliances, have them inspected by a qualified, licensed professional
• Operate all generators outside your home in a well-ventilated area.
Electric Shut-Off Policy During Flooding Events:
• For safety, MLGW will turn off electricity to flooded properties
• Should water enter your property, call MLGW at (901) 544-MLGW (6549) or (901) 820-7878 (Quick access codes 1-1-1 (English) or 3-1-1 (Spanish)
• In areas with underground electric lines, MLGW will turn off transformers should they flood. This will result in an electrical outage for homes connected to that transformer
• The water supply is safe for drinking and has not been contaminated
• Volunteers are needed to work at shelters and for other duties
• Call the Flood Watch Hotline (901) 324-8799. Text requests to: (901) 290-7530 or send messages by email to: StaySafeShelby @gmail.com
• Many roads have been closed due to the flooding. For a complete, up-to-date list of closed roads, go to www.StaySafe Shelby.us
How to stay informed
• Real time updates about the flood relief/recovery efforts are posted at: www.StaySafeShelby.us
• Those without Internet service can get information by phone at the 24-Hour Flood Watch Hotline (901) 324-8799. Text requests to: (901) 290-7530.
• Internet service is available at Memphis Public Libraries.