Dyersburg mayor tells residents they should evacuate - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Dyersburg mayor tells residents they should evacuate

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(WMC-TV) - Dyersburg Mayor John Holden issued an urgent notice late Tuesday morning, saying residents in parts of the city should evacuate.

With the North Fork of the Forked Deer River forecasted to crest at 28 feet tomorrow night, significant flooding is expected in Southtown, Evansville, the southern end of Cotton Villa at Rosemont Cove, River Ridge Cove, and Delta Pine Ave.

Holden said people living in these areas should begin evacuating.

Dyer County Sheriff Jeff Box said that most people in nearby Miston already have left their homes. Box estimated that about 50 to 100 homes have been evacuated in the county, and jail inmates are stacking sandbags in flood-prone areas.

"Water's advancing and we're fixin' to get more," Box said. "The attitude has been wait and see. No one is panicking."

Gov. Bill Haslam visited northwest Tennessee on Tuesday to survey the situation. Farmland flooded last week after a small levee was intentionally breached to ease pressure on the swollen Mississippi and Obion rivers and save more densely populated areas.

Haslam asked President Barack Obama on Tuesday to authorize emergency funding of $10 million to help the state and local jurisdictions with flood evacuation preparedness in West Tennessee.

"Every update is it's going to crest a foot higher than where it was before," Haslam told The Associated Press after touring fatal tornado damage in Greene County on Monday. "And now they're saying up around Tiptonville it's going to crest a couple feet higher than even the levee they built in addition to the normal levee. Unfortunately we're pretty confident that there will be flooding up there. The question is how bad it will be."

He said the state is considering more evacuations and working to make sure flood prevention efforts are adequate.

"We talked with TEMA (Tennessee Emergency Management Agency) and asked them if there are enough people literally stuffing sandbags up there," Haslam said.

In Memphis, the Mississippi is expected to crest at a minimum of 48 feet on May 10, just inches lower than the record of 48.7 feet set in 1937, the National Weather Service said.

Copyright 2011 WMC-TV. All rights reserved. The AP contributed to this story.

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