High waters push damage estimates into the millions

By Justin Hanson - bio | email

TIPTON COUNTY, TN (WMC-TV) - The Army Corps of Engineers is calling this past weekend's flood a "thousand year flood."

In some parts of the Mid-South, sixteen inches of rain fell in eight hours.  Even though FEMA help is on the way, this once in a lifetime flood doesn't come without a price tag.

West Tennessee residents are ready to get their lives and their homes back after this weekend's devastating floods.

"Just to get back to where you were," says resident Wanda Brown.

And now, more help is on the way.

"I'm asking the county Monday night to move two million dollars into Tipton County public works fund to continue to fix roads," said Tipton County mayor Jeff Huffman.

In Tipton County, the flooding left behind bad roads.  Some were washed out, and others are completely gone!

Initial damage reports already total over $20 million. Twenty-three roads were closed because of flooding. Now, all but six are back open.

"I don't know what we're gonna do," resident Diana Etheridge said. "If it weren't for my aunt, God bless her soul for giving us money to stay in a motel, I don't know where we'd be."

In Dyersburg, it was more than road damage. Entire parts of town were still underwater Friday, where officials are said $9 million in damage has already been done. They expect that number to go much higher.

Emergency management officials say parts of Lauderdale and Tipton County could expect more flooding over the weekend as the Hatchie and Mississippi Rivers hit their crest.

"We're looking at the rivers cresting Monday the tenth," said Tipton County EMA Director Tommy Dunavant.

For residents who lost everything, help can't come soon enough.

"Everybody gets together...community comes together...and that's a good thing...we need more of that," Brown said.

County officials say FEMA reps should be arriving in the next week or so. Until then, you can call FEMA toll free to report your claim.  That number is 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).

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