Politicians tour Mid-South flooding - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Politicians tour Mid-South flooding

(WMC-TV) - Shelby County's congressional delegates from Washington D.C. toured flood ravaged areas Friday. They commended our command staff and saw the damage first hand.

At the Emergency Operations Center, three Washington congressmen and a senator were briefed on how Memphis and Shelby County response teams are dealing with disaster. US Congressmen Steve Cohen, Stephen Fincher, Marsha Blackburn and Senator Lamar Alexander listened intently.

Corps of Engineers Colonel Vernie Riechling did not mince words.

"Your district, which is Memphis district, has been fighting this flood since the 24th of April," said Riechling. "Five hundred people from my district, your district, have been here 24 hours working this around the clock."

The Congressional visitors were impressed by the tireless work being done by the agencies in charge of putting practicality over panic.

"It is reassuring to come into a center like this where everyone knows their position, their place," said Blackburn.

"And when people come to tell you the federal government doesn't do anything and we just need to slash and burn, think about what's happening today," said Cohen.

After the briefing, the four boarded a bus to see the devastation for themselves. Their first stop was a drive by of the banks of the Mississippi River on Mud Island.

The visitors pledged their support, and the county will need it. They are already $9.2 million in the hole trying to keep the Mississippi River within its boundaries.

The river is expected to reach 48 feet by Wednesday and remain above flood stage for the rest of the month.

It was originally thought the Mississippi River would maintain its crest for at least a week, but that prediction has been reduced to three to four days.

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