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Shelby County making flood preparation

Star Staff Reports

shelby logoOfficials at the Shelby County Office of Preparedness continue to plan for potential flooding along the Mississippi River and its tributaries. 

“Right now, all roads are open and there have been no reports of damage.  However, the water continues to rise daily by one-point-five feet,” said Dale Lane, Director of the Shelby County Office of Preparedness.

Shelby County Mayor Mark H. Luttrell, Jr., other suburban mayors and area elected officials will be kept informed about the flood threat.

“Although we will likely face some challenges by the high water, Director Lane and his staff at the Shelby County Office of Preparedness have reviewed their plans and are ready to coordinate the response by public works, law enforcement, fire and emergency services bureaus across the county,” said Mayor Luttrell.

Today, the Shelby County Office of Preparedness staff photographed areas likely to receive damage.  Staff also ensured water gauges at the tributaries are working properly.  As the water rises, maps produced in partnership with the University of Memphis will show anticipated damage throughout the county.  The ZIP Code maps are posted at .

Rising water has already led to the planned closing next week of Second Street, between Whitney and Mud Island Drive and the access road to the Stiles Water Treatment Plant.  “This area will be barricaded at 7 o’clock Monday morning (January 4th).  It will remain closed until the water recedes. Motorists can use Pear Avenue and Thomas Street as detour routes,” said Ken Johnson of the City of Memphis Traffic Engineering Department.

Should the Shelby County Office of Preparedness activate the Emergency Operations Center, the National Weather Service, Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, MLGW and many other agencies will have representatives present to assist those affected by the high water.

National Weather Service forecasters now say the Mississippi River will crest at an estimated 42 feet by January 9th.  The crest was 48.3 feet when the flood of 2011 damaged neighborhoods in Memphis and Shelby County.

For more information about the flood response, go to or call (901) 222-6700.

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