Tennessee Residents Still Displaced After Flooding

July 3, 2014

Police say more than 150 people evacuated Sunday from a Memphis, Tenn., neighborhood due to high water from heavy rains are still displaced.

About 160 residents who lived in the Whitehaven neighborhood were sent to a temporary shelter at Hickory Hill Community Center after some areas of the city and Shelby County got nearly 6 inches of rain within six hours. City officials say storm drains couldn’t handle that much water in such a short time, which led to flash flooding and evacuations.

Although the water had mostly receded by Monday, The Commercial Appeal reports Memphis code enforcement said residents shouldn’t return immediately after doing an initial damage assessment.

The Red Cross was set up at the shelter to help.

“The first thing we do in a situation like this is to take care of the people that have been displaced because they have no other place to go,” said Robert Wallace, Red Cross public affairs volunteer. “The second thing we do is damage assessment which will determine the extent of the Red Cross response.”

Many families involved don’t speak English, so the Red Cross is looking for more volunteers, particularly those who speak Spanish.

“Language has been a barrier,” Wallace said. “Some people here don’t speak or read English very well and need help filling out forms.”

More rain is expected in the area on Wednesday.

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