MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphis city officials say they are actively watching weather reports and prepared to deploy crews as needed.
Flooding is always an issue. City crews say low-lying areas such as Union and East Parkway are known to flood during a heavy rain storm.
Cluttered drains can cause flooding and leaves are a typical culprit and there are a lot of leaves waiting to be picked up around this city thanks to delayed trash services.
Mayor Jim Strickland started his weekly update with an apology:
"Friends, I apologize. I know many of you are unhappy with the way our trash service has been over the last several weeks. If there’s one thing I hope you’ve learned about administration in our first term, it’s that we don’t shy away from tough issues. We work to address them head-on.”
The mayor is referring to the bags of leaves that line the streets of Memphis waiting to be picked up.
One WMC Action News 5 viewer says her yard trash has been sitting on the curb since October.
Mayor Strickland vows to ramp up service and have trash service back on schedule by the end of January.
However, a storm with potential tornadic activity is coming Saturday morning.
City officials are asking residents to be careful where they place those bags of leaves.
“So proper placement of bagged leaves is another thing we ask citizens to do. Make sure they are out of the way, not in the conveyance, so they don’t become a problem,” said Public Works Director Robert Knecht.
City and state crews spent the day clearing drains of debris so to prevent flooding.
City of Memphis crews are on stand-by ready to respond in the case of flooding and downed trees.
Public Works Director Robert Knecht says there are things residents can do to stay safe like securing outdoor furniture.
“We're talking 60 to 70 mph wind gusts and that can move a lot of different material,” said Knecht.
Other things people can do before they go to bed Friday night is charge your cellphone and have a plan in to place to seek shelter in the case of a tornado.
Meanwhile, North Mississippi is preparing for storm coverage as well.
City of Southaven Spokesperson Tish Dunning said:
“The City of Southaven is always prepared and ready to handle severe weather. We maintain constant contact with emergency agencies and keep a close eye on weather reports. We are ready to respond, using multiple resources, if and when needed. Our FEMA shelter, located at the corner of Highway 51 and Dorchester, will be open IF we are under a severe weather watch or warning.”
The Desoto County Emergency Management Agency says they are also monitoring the storm and will fully activate their emergency operation center overnight.