This is what it looks like in Memphis, Tennessee right now. And they didn’t get hit half as hard as other cities along the Mississippi.
The surging Mississippi River crested in Memphis early Tuesday morning, falling inches short of its all-time record but still flooding low-lying areas.
The National Weather Service said that the river peaked at 47.85 feet at 2 a.m. local time and is expected to remain near that level for the next 24 to 36 hours. Resident will likely be left to deal with above-average water levels until at least June.
“Hitting the high point means things shouldn’t get worse in the area, but it will take weeks for the water to recede and much longer for inundated areas to recover,” the Associated Press reports.
The crest is only inches below the record of 48.7 feet set during a 1937 flood that devastated parts of Memphis. But, so far, the levees protecting the city have mostly done their job. The flooding was isolated to low-lying neighborhoods, and while hundreds of people were forced to evacuate, no new serious flooding is expected.
Now the river rages on towards Mississippi and Louisiana, where it may get much worse than what Memphis suffered.
The worst is yet to come, with the crest expected to roll through the Delta over the next few days. The damage in Memphis was estimated at more than $320 million as the serious flooding began, and an official tally won’t be available until the waters recede.
To the south, there were no early figures on the devastation, but with hundreds of homes already damaged, “we’re going to have a lot more when the water gets to where it’s never been before,’’ said Greg Flynn, a spokesman for the Mississippi emergency management agency.
Across the region, federal officials anxiously checked and reinforced the levees, some of which could be put to their sternest test ever.
Add to this the fact that this week’s warm weather is going to create more Midwest storms, and you can’t tell us this isht is normal.