Governor Bill Haslam tours flooded Mississippi from Memphis - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Governor Bill Haslam tours flooded Mississippi from Memphis

Photo courtesy of My 5 Photo courtesy of My 5

(WMC-TV) - Governor Bill Haslam looked out at the Mississippi River from downtown Memphis Monday night, as the river was finally on the verge of cresting.  

This is his third visit to Shelby County in 10 days to survey flood damage.
As the sun set over the Mississippi River that is the mightiest its been since 1937, Haslam met with Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell and Office of Preparedness Director Bob Nations.

"I'm incredibly impressed with the local law enforcement and local emergency management's preparation for this event," Haslam said. "Obviously the river's not going to crest as high as we feared, but it's still a significant issue. It will be for weeks to come."

Haslam said he is keeping the pressure on the federal government to get assistance to flood victims.

It's a process he says can take a while.

"You might have heard we were just declared a federal disaster area from the storm back on April 4, five weeks ago. Our job is to maintain the pressure on Washington, as the cleanup incurs, and the bills mount to make certain they follow through there."

Haslam said he toured the Mississippi from Tiptonville to Dyersburg earlier.

"Two miles, three miles wide with no boundaries in sight, you can't figure out where the regular channel is, farmland's flooded and homes as well. You see the power of the river, and it makes me more grateful for the preparation we have in place in the really populated areas," said Haslam.

Haslam said he feels for people who have lost everything to flood waters.

"Number one they have our sympathy and our prayer, number two, we really are doing everything we can to speed assistance to them," he said.

Just because the Mississippi is cresting, Haslam said he wants to remind people this huge amount of flood water is going to be around for weeks to come.

He said it's not too soon to report flood damage to FEMA.  The number to call is 800-621 FEMA.

Copyright 2011 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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