Entries in Flooding (47)


Mississippi River Crests in Tennessee; Most of Memphis Spared

Scott Olson/Getty Images(MEMPHIS, Tenn.) -- By early Tuesday morning, it appeared that most of Memphis, Tennessee was spared from the flooding of the mighty Mississippi River.

Since the bulk of the city is located on a bluff, only low-lying areas have so far been affected by the nearly 48-foot crest, the highest the nation’s largest river system has reached in Memphis since the Great Flood of 1937.  It is expected to reach 48 feet later on Tuesday.

Graceland, Beale Street and other familiar sites in Memphis were largely untouched by the flooding.  And even while city officials visited about 1,300 residences in the past few days to urge evacuations, many residents stayed home.

Still, Cory Williams of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Monday night, “We're going to wait until the water goes down a whole lot more and then we'll celebrate success."

It was clear Memphis officials had faith that the city's levees, flood walls and pumps would do their job.  The network has come at a cost of over $13 billion throughout the years but the Corps of Engineers says it's been well worth it by preventing an estimated $370 billion in flood damage.

Yet the danger from the Mississippi River is not over for communities and refineries downstream from Memphis.  The crest isn’t expected to occur there for another two weeks, which is when the flood waters are due to finally empty into the Gulf of Mexico.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Snakes, Wild Animals Invade as Mississippi River Rises

ABC News(MEMPHIS, Tenn.) -- Dangerous reptiles and other animals have been forced to flee their homes, invading residential neighborhoods in Memphis, Tennessee as the Mississippi River continues to swell to record flood levels.

"You'll see your wildlife moving and, of course, their nature is to move to the higher, drier ground ... We'll see this for another couple of weeks," Bob Nations, Director of Shelby County Tennessee's Office of Preparedness, told ABC News.  "[It] probably will have a huge impact on our wildlife in this part of the county."

Residents of flooded areas have had to deal with electrical currents, chemicals and sewage in the water, but also wildlife scrambling for safety.  Tennesseans have had to be careful of rampaging deer but the real danger lies with water moccasins, also known as cottonmouths.

The venomous snakes are known to be aggressive when agitated, opening their mouths wide to reveal a white lining and deadly fangs when confronted.  The snakes are semi-aquatic vipers found near or in water, and are strong swimmers.

"They can cause a fairly serious bite," Dr. James Murphy of Smithsonian National Zoo said to ABC News.  "It's normally not fatal, but there's an enourmous amount of tissue damage.  In fact, I've seen photographs of bites and it looks like somebody's arm has been put in a drill."

The snakes have apparently been popping up everywhere, sometimes clinging to the trees.  People returning to their homes after the flooding subsides might encounter them.

Water moccasins are not the only wildlife threat for residents. The flood waters also contain alligators, spiders, rats and even fire ants, according to experts.

Tennessee wildlife groups have been fielding dozens of calls from worried residents.  The Shelby County Health Department has issued a special alert, warning its residents to be particularly wary of snakes as a veritable jungle of critters scrambles to find safe ground.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Mississippi River Floods Cause More Evacuations in Tennessee

Scott Olson/Getty Images(MEMPHIS, Tenn.) -- The Mississippi River is expected to rise to historic levels this week, leaving thousands of families from Arkansas to Tennessee with no option other than to abandon their homes.

As of Monday morning, the Mississippi River has risen to 47.6 feet and is expected to crest at 48 feet later in the evening, according to the National Weather Service.

Previously, the Army Corp of Engineers expected the river to rise to a record level of 48 feet early Tuesday morning -- the record crest in 1937 was 48.7 feet.

Wary of such dangers, Memphis, Tennessee Mayor A C Wharton warned residents in low-lying areas to evacuate.

"Right now, it seems flooding is mostly related to uninhabited areas, but as the waters of the Wolf, the Loosahatchie, and Nonconnah Creek could rise with additional rainfall, we must alert nearby residents to the dangers," Wharton said.

Memphis officials said on Sunday that around 1,300 families have been told to evacuate their homes, and 370 people are already staying in shelters.

Northwestern Tennessee was deemed safe from floods Sunday, but the high rivers forced cities and counties south along the Mississippi River to close roads.

"We got at least 91 locations according to the engineers that we need to check out and from there we have to make a decision on which ones have to be closed," Shelby County, Tennessee, official Percy Sheldon said.

Beale Street, the historic birthplace of the blues, is now filled with several feet of water.  Farmlands and key historic areas have also been swallowed up by the deep waters, and the city could continue to have to deal with extensive flooding.

In Louisiana, officials, residents and volunteers made advanced preparations, like piling up sandbags, and will now wait to see if their state's network of levees withstands waters that are expected to reach 25 feet deep and spill over seven parishes.

As of Sunday morning, the National Weather Service reported moderate flooding near Red River Landing and Baton Rouge.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Deadly Storms Move East; More Heavy Rain Expected to Slam South

ABC News(VILONIA, Ark.) -- From tornadoes to heavy rain and rising flood waters, deadly storms continue to leave their mark on the south as states to the north and east brace for the violent weather that's heading their way.

A high-risk severe weather warning has been issued by the National Weather Service for areas northeast of Memphis, Tennessee, to Dallas and parts of Arkansas, where at least 11 people have died and thousands of homes and businesses are without electricity.

There have been more than 600 reports of tornadoes nationwide for the month of April.

The latest storm pattern has brought in about 40 reports of tornadoes in five states: Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri and Kentucky.

Forecasters predict more flooding is possible Wednesday with three to seven inches of rain expected from Arkansas to Ohio, while areas such as Memphis and Louisville, Kentucky, could see heavy rain at times.

The Mississippi, Ohio and Black rivers are overflowing Wednesday morning after a deluge of as much as 15 inches of rain in five days.

Near the swollen Mississippi and Ohio rivers, emergency officials considered blowing a two-mile-wide hole in a levee to ease the onslaught of water, but Missouri's attorney general has sued to stop it from happening, saying it would demolish crops and 100 homes.

Homes are still underwater Wednesday morning in Missouri after the Black River overflowed its levee in more than 30 different places Tuesday.

Meanwhile, in downtown Louisville, roads have disappeared, street lamps submerged and more rain is coming.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Multiple Deaths Reported After Tornadoes, Flooding Slam Central US

Comstock/Thinkstock (file photo)(LITTLE ROCK, Ark.) -- At least seven deaths have been reported in connection with a series of tornadoes and severe weather that ripped through several states from Kentucky to Tennessee Monday, authorities said.

Forecasters expect more rain and storms to slam across the Midwest Tuesday, as the system moves east.

In Pocahontas, Arkansas, the Black River is a few feet from topping the levee.  Several roads are closed, including highway 90, because of flooding, officials said.

Marty Cagle of the Randolph County Office of Emergency Management said the river might crest at the end of the work week.

"The level of the Black River, here at Pocahontas right now is possibly 18 feet.  They are predicting by sometime, Friday, that it will be approximately 25 point two feet," Cagle told ABC News Radio.

But Arkansas wasn't alone in flooding.

About 1,000 residents in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, were evacuated because of rising waters Monday.  Butler County Sheriff Mark Dobbs said several county roads were closed because of rising water along the Black River.

"At this point, it's getting to where the roads are impassable.  There's so much water spilling over the levees," Dobbs said.

In Texas, hail shattered windshields and winds up to 100 miles per hour prompted officials to warn people to take cover just before a twister touched down near the town of Cleburne.

To date, there have been more than 5,400 severe weather reports recorded this month and over 40 people killed nationwide in tornadoes.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


North Dakota Residents Asked to Evacuate Due to Possible Dam Break

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock (file photo)(BURLINGTON, N.D.) -- As a dam gets closer towards breaking in North Dakota, people living near the Des Lacs River have been asked to evacuate their homes ahead of possible flooding.

But some are choosing to brush off the warning.

"Some people are sticking it out.  And some people left.  I'd say [Wednesday night] it was like 50-50," said Burlington Police Chief Keith Crabb.

About 200 residents of Burlington were asked to leave the area.  Crabb said the evacuation wasn't mandatory, but a "request evacuation."

"We requested for their safety to leave the area," he said.

The dam was built back in the 1930s and is made of clay, dirt and rock, Crabb noted.  He said it has "three holes in it right now that are kind of eroding," and, should it fail, the dam would add about three feet of water to the already swollen Des Lacs River.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Government Warns of Severe Flooding Throughout US

Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Get your galoshes ready. Government forecasters said Thursday that almost half the country has an above average risk of flooding in the next few weeks. Warmer temperatures are melting the snow and storms forecast for coming weeks could make it worse with more rain and snow.

The highest spring flood risk?  The Red River between North Dakota and Minnesota, but rivers in Montana, South Dakota, Minnesota, parts of New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey are also facing a high risk of flooding.

Officials say many cities have a greater than 95 percent chance of flooding, including Fargo, North Dakota; St. Paul Minnesota; and Davenport, Mississippi.

According to the National Weather Service, floods are the deadliest weather events, claiming an average of 100 lives a year.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Hundreds Evacuated as Rivers Overflow, Flood Parts of New Jersey

WABC-TV New York(LITTLE FALLS, N.J.) -- Rampant flooding kept hundreds of New Jersey residents out of their homes this weekend as the Passaic and Raritan Rivers continued to overflow.

In Little Falls, more than 500 homes were flooded by the Passaic River, according to ABC News New York affiliate WABC-TV. Continued flooding in numerous towns, including Wayne and Paterson, prompted evacuations.

Four bridges across the Passaic River were impassable due to the threatening flood waters.

Some residents will be allowed back to their homes on Monday as the waters begin to recede.

Officials expected the Passaic to crest Sunday at 11.9 feet.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Storm Zone Targets Northeast

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- More heavy rain is pummeling the mid-Atlantic and Northeast and will continue into the weekend. Flood watches go into effect Thursday evening from North Carolina to upstate New York. New Jersey's governor has already declared a state of emergency anticipating the deluge and increased flooding.

Storm-wrecked areas of the south could see more damaging winds and lightning Thursday. In Alabama and Louisiana, governors have declared states of emergencies. In Florida, the storms sucked nearly all of the furniture out of one home and another possible tornado destroyed at least eight more.

By the time this storm heads out to sea, more than 100 million Americans will have felt its power.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Severe Storm System Brings Tornadoes, Flooding to Midwest

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(ESTILL SPRINGS, Tenn.) -- A severe storm system that brought pounding rain, high winds, floods and even tornadoes to several states across the country Monday has left a trail of damage and destruction.

The hardest hit region was the Midwest, where multiple tornadoes touched down in Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

In Tennessee alone, the twisters killed two men, flung trucks around, split trees in half and flattened several homes.  One of the two men killed, a 79-year-old from Franklin County, died when his mobile home flipped over.  The man's daughter and grandson were also injured.

"The child actually crawled out the front side of the mobile home and the mother was pinned.  The fire department got her out of there," said George Dyer with the Franklin County Sheriff's Department.

Elsewhere in the Midwest, strong winds downed power lines leaving thousands in the dark, while others faced flood waters that left some neighborhoods completely inundated.

In Ohio, all of the state's 88 counties were impacted by the flooding, according to the National Weather Service.  Most of the state remains under a flood warning Tuesday, while its eastern border with Pennsylvania remains under a flood watch as the Ohio River is expected to rise later in the day.

Ohio's western neighbor, Indiana, is mostly under a flood warning as well.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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