Agencies Try to Control Flooding in Kentucky and Tennessee

January 5, 2016

Western Tennessee and Kentucky are still facing flood threats as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Tennessee Valley Authority work to control water levels.

The National Weather Service issued a flood advisory for the Cumberland River at Dover through Monday evening. The river was expected to rise to near 66.6 feet. Flood stage is 67 feet.

Minor flooding along the Ohio River was affecting parts of Owensboro and Paducah in Kentucky, with most cresting expected by Tuesday. Moderate flooding was reported along the Green River near Paradise, Kentucky.

The Mississippi River was expected to crest in Memphis at 41 feet on Jan. 8. Flood stage is 34 feet. Although no major flooding was expected in the city, officials were moving to protect roads and a local airport.

The city said it will close a portion of North Second Street to through traffic on Monday as crews install temporary barriers along the street to hold back floodwater north of downtown.

And workers will be filling sandbags to protect the nearby General DeWitt Spain Airport, which flooded in 2011 when a temporary levee along North Second failed. Some plane owners have moved their airplanes to other sites as a precaution.

Along the Downtown riverfront, the expected high water will force the relocation of several transformers in Tom Lee Park and some electrical equipment at one of the Beale Street Landing islands.

In Wickliffe, Kentucky, also on the Mississippi, residents were filling sandbags to protect local homes from the river.

In Finley, farmers along the Mississippi were evacuating homes and moving equipment to higher ground. The sheriff’s office placed deputies in the area and planned increased patrols to protect property there.

Janie Smith and her granddaughter Amanda began packing their home early Wednesday morning.

“If the water makes it up to my house this year that will be twice since 2011 that it’s got me,” Smith said. “Back in 2011, there was 4 inches of water in my house. I have another home in Dyersburg. We plan on going there until the water goes back down, but I’m hoping that it won’t make it this far.”

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