Water wreaks havoc in Dyersburg as Forked Deer River continues to rise

By Nick Kenney - bio | email

DYERSBURG, TN (WMC-TV) - As the Forked Deer River topped record levels Tuesday, it wreaked havoc on the city of Dyersburg, creating a world of water few people imagined was possible.

Nearly 600 structures in the town have already taken on water, as leaving roads into town to lead into a waterlogged version of devastation.

"It just, just blows your mind," resident Alton Rogers said.

Tuesday, Rogers' childhood home was still under rising flood waters.

As Southtown Dyersburg was swallowed up by the Forked Deer River, Brian Newell's air-conditioning shop that was wiped out by the water.

"I've got about four feet of water in it right now." he said.

Not far away from Newell's business, other restaurants, churches, and even an adjoining neighborhood were swallowed up by floodwaters.  As the water rose at a rate of almost one foot per hour, it was a mad race against time for residents to salvage what they could.

"I thought we had it beat," Newell said. "Moved everything. Then it come up above that."

Surveying the damage, State Senator Mark Norris said likely monetary cost for recovery was rising as quickly as the flood waters.

"Obviously, this is going to be a long, drawn out process," Norris said.

Norris said the fight for federal aid for flood victims has already commenced, as they disaster laid waste to the possessions of thousands of Dyersburg residents.

"It's sad," Rogers said. "Really said.  You just don't think it would ever happen to you, but it happened."

The previous record high for the Forked Deer River is 29 feet, 4 inches.  It topped 30 feet Monday night. It is not expected to crest until Tuesday morning.

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