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News Update Shelby County Emergency Operation
Flood Warning
May 8, 2011 - Evening Update

Flood Information Hotline (901) 324-8799
Text requests to: (901) 290-7530

Media Information (901) 308-4360 

What’s New Since the Last News Release Update? 
  • No one is being allowed in the park along Island Drive on Mud Island due to the rising flood waters. The river is dangerously close to areas used for recreation
  • Updated maps show an additional 243 properties that will likely be affected by flood waters. The locations are near rivers and creeks that branch off of the Mississippi River. Law enforcement officers are leaving flyers at those residences which will urge people to be ready to evacuate if necessary
  • Expect traffic delays on Highway 51 North. Both lanes between Fite and Watkins are closed because of the high water
  • In South Memphis, expect delays near Mitchell High School. Sax Road is closed from Mitchell to Hazelwood. Mitchell Road is also closed from Weaver to Sax. Road Closed signs are posted
  • All road closings are posted on the flood information website
  • To date, 100 animals have been rescued from flood waters. 65 dogs, 18 cats, 15 puppies and 2 ducks

Properties That Will Likely Be Affected By the Flood

Maps of affected areas are constantly being revised. The most up-to-date information is posted at

General information about properties likely to be affected by the flood:

  • Total: 3,075
  • 949 single family residences
  • 12 Apartment complexes-(432 units)
  • 6 Schools
    1. Northside High School 
    2. Montessori School on Harbor Town 
    3. Hawkins Mill Elementary 
    4. Westside High School 
    5. Westside Middle School 
    6. Mitchell High School

  • 226 Businesses
  • 322 Industrial sites
  • On Mud Island, homes along the eastern bank of the Wolf River chute may experience some level of flooding
  • Homes along Island Drive may also be impacted
  • Residents in several zip code areas who live near rivers and creeks that branch off the Mississippi River need to be on high alert for possible flooding.

Downtown/Midtown: 38103, 38105
South Memphis: 38106, 38109
North Memphis: 38107, 38108
Frayser: 38127, 38128
Arlington: 38002
Whitehaven: 38116, 38131, 38132
North-East Memphis/Bartlett: 38134
Southeast Memphis: 38118
Berclair (Summer/Graham) Area: 38122
Presidents Island: 38113

  • Updated flood maps of affected areas can be seen at :
  • Those without internet service can get information by phone at the 24-Hour Flood Watch Hotline (901) 324-8799. Text requests to: (901) 290-7530 
  • Internet service is available at Memphis Public Libraries

Dangers of Flood Waters

  • Be aware of snakes. As rivers and creeks rise, snakes will be looking for food and shelter inside houses, storage sheds and buildings. 
  • If you have to leave home, take a disaster kit with you along with important documents, records, medicine, personal medical equipment and other necessary items 
  • Officials with the Shelby County Health Department say people should not come into contact with flood waters. Sewage and other contaminates can make people seriously ill especially if cuts and open wounds become infected 
  • The Shelby County Health Department’s Water Quality Program encourages all private well water customers to take proper precautions to protect wells from service interruption. For questions, call (901) 544-7775, Monday-Friday 8:00 am – 4:30 pm or (901) 508-7455 after hours

Law Enforcement/Fire-Rescue

  • Officers, deputies and firefighters are going door-to-door alerting people about the flood threat
  • Law enforcement officers will issue citations to those who disregard barricades or block traffic to sight-see

Shelby County Office of Preparedness Shelters

  1. Hope Presbyterian Church, 8500 Walnut Grove Road
  2. Cummings Street Baptist Church, 250 East Raines 
  3. Millington Civic Center, 8077 Wilkinsville Road, Millington, TN 
  4. Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church, 70 north Bellevue

The Shelby County Office of Preparedness has a partnership with several churches in the area. They will join in the shelters effort when needed.

Hope Presbyterian, Idlewild Presbyterian, Covenant United Methodist, St. John’s United Methodist, Germantown United Methodist, New Direction Christian Church, Mississippi Blvd Christian Church, and Temple of Israel Synagogue have plans to train volunteers.

Call (901) 324-8799 for information
For up-to-date occupancy rates, go to

Sandbag Suppliers 

  • Langston Companies (901) 409-4738 
  • United Bags (800) 550-2247 
  • Associated Bag Company (800) 926-6100 or (800) 376-8415

Be Aware of Scam Artists During the Flood Crisis

  • The Shelby County District Attorney General’s Office urges everyone to be vigilant. Some individuals may attempt to take advantage of our citizens in their time of need. As a precaution, District Attorney Amy Weirich has issued the following statement:

"While countless Shelby County citizens work tirelessly to minimize flood damage, there are those who may view this as an opportunity to exploit vulnerable victims. Those who choose to turn flood victims into crime victims will be met with tough prosecution by the District Attorney's Office.”

MLGW Concerns 

  • MLGW supervisors at the emergency operations center are monitoring the effects of the flooding 
  • Report flooding to (901) 544-MLGW (6549) or (901) 820-7878 (Quick access codes 1-1-1 (English) or 3-1-1 (Spanish)


  • Stay away from anything electrical that may be in contact with water and always assume that it’s energized
  • You should never attempt to operate breakers or switches that are wet or under water
  • Never attempt to disconnect or remove your electric meter; call MLGW for assistance 
  • Should water damage your home’s electrical system or appliances, have them inspected by a qualified, licensed professional 
  • Operate all generators outside your home in a well-ventilated area

Electric Shut-Off Policy During Flooding Events: 

  • For safety, MLGW will turn off electricity to flooded properties
  • Should water enter your property, call MLGW at (901) 544-MLGW (6549) or (901) 820-7878 (Quick access codes 1-1-1 (English) or 3-1-1 (Spanish) 
  • In areas with underground electric lines, MLGW will turn off transformers should they flood. This will result in an electrical outage for homes connected to that transformer


  • Water pumping stations are not threatened by the possible flood--they all sit above the potential flood area
  • Some wells could be affected, but in the event that happens, MLGW will simply shut them down and utilize other wells to supply customers 
  • Shut the water off if you have a shut-off valve inside your home. Do not shut the water off at the street


  • MLGW's natural gas services are not expected to be affected by the flooding
  • Power will be shut off for industrial site customers in the event they need assistance 
  • Turn off gas at the meter then close gas appliance valves once the pilot goes out 
  • The main shutoff valve is near your outside gas meter. Use a 12 to 15 inch adjustable wrench to give the valve a quarter turn in either direction. The valve is closed when the tang (the part you put the wrench on) is crosswise to the pipe

Care of Pets and Animals

  • 140 dogs, 41 cats, 2 birds, 2 domestic ducks, 1 guinea pig are being housed at an emergency animal shelter at 1716 Shelby Oaks Drive, North, Suite #1. 37 horses are being sheltered at the Shelby Farms Showplace Arena
  • Pets are not allowed in shelters 
  • If a pet owner needs sheltering for their pet(s) bring the following items to the shelter: Shot records or rabies tag, a collar, leash and any medications. If the owner does not have these items the shelter is able to provide these and will be vaccinating pets at no charge 
  • Pet owners will need to provide the shelter with contact information and present some form of identification (Drivers license, state id etc.) 
  • Representatives from the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and the DART (Disaster Animal Recovery Team) are caring for the animals. The shelter site is also being used as a regional distribution center for Pet Smart Charities. Food, kennels, other pet supplies are being sent from the site to other states affected by recent tornadoes, storms and floods


  • Volunteers are needed to work at shelters and for other duties
  • Call the Flood Watch Hotline (901) 324-8799. Text requests to: (901) 290-7530 or send messages by email to: e-mail

Roads Closed

Many roads have been closed due to the flooding. For a complete, up-to-date list of closed roads, go to

Language Interpretations 

  • Volunteers are being coordinated by the Shelby County Mayor’s Office of Multi-Cultural and Hispanic Affairs. Email: e-mail or call (901) 508-7972

How to stay informed

  • Real time updates about the flood relief/recovery efforts and maps of areas anticipated to flood are posted at:
  • Those without internet service can get information by phone at the 24-Hour Flood Watch Hotline (901) 324-8799. Text requests to: (901) 290-7530 
  • Internet service is available at Memphis Public Libraries 
  • For more information, call the 24-hour hotline (901) 324-8799

Vasco A. Smith, Jr. County Administration Building • (901) 222-2300
160 North Main Street Memphis TN 38103
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