Agencies are readying for heavy rains expected in Shelby County and throughout Tennessee this week as Tropical Storm Cindy moves through.
Cindy is gathering in the Gulf of Mexico and brought sustained high winds and heavy rain to the Gulf Coast Wednesday. The storm claimed its first victim, a 10-year-old boy, Thursday in Fort Morgan, Ala., according to WKRG
Dale Lane, Director of the Shelby County Office of Preparedness (SCOP), heavy rains will move through the Memphis area Thursday through Sunday.
According to one storm map from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Cindy is expect to make landfall on the border of Texas and Louisiana early Thursday morning. The storm will move north and curve right when it hits Arkansas Thursday evening. Then, Cindy will make its way across Tennessee early Friday morning and through Saturday morning.
The National Weather service predicts thunderstorms for Memphis Thursday and Friday but only a chance of showers or storms Saturday and Sunday.
“Prepare for flash flooding later this week,” Lane said. “The National Weather Service forecasts a tropical disturbance with an increased threat of heavy rains Thursday through Sunday and flash flooding.
“Never underestimate the power of flood water. Plan to make the safest decisions, especially on the roadways.”
(Look at the bottom of this story for SCOP’s flash flood safety tips.)
Officials with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) are busy lowering lake levels across the state to minimize flooding five to six inches of rain is predicted to fall Thursday through Sunday n the Tennessee Valley region. That region usually sees 4 inches of rain in the entire month of June.
“Our team will be closely tracking this system and continuously receiving up-to-the-minute information about rainfall and lake levels,” said James Everett, manager of TVA’s River Forecasting Center Operations Support. “This data will be used to model various scenarios and help us minimize flood damage along TVA’s entire system of dams and reservoirs.”
Pickwick Lake is the only West Tennessee lake included in the TVA’s Cindy plan. The others include Fort Loudoun, Watts Bar, Chickamauga, Nickajack, Guntersville, Wheeler, Wilson, and Kentucky.
TVA began drawing down lakes on Monday by releasing water through dams to create electricity. The group said it will also spill or sluice water if it becomes necessary.
Look for more information about lake levels on the TVA’s Facebook page
, its smartphone app, or at tva.com
Country act Little Big Town is scheduled to play the Memphis Botanic Garden's Live at the Garden series Friday but officials there said they are "currently exploring all options."
"We are working closely with the weather service and monitoring the situation created by Tropical Storm Cindy," read a statement from concert series officials Wednesday. "We are currently exploring all options. While our shows are 'rain or shine,', our first priority is always the safety of our patrons.
We will continue to monitor the weather and provide updates to you as decisions are made. Please continue to check our website at www.liveatthegarden.com
, our Facebook page and Twitter for updates. Please only trust updates posted on these reliable sources."
Here are some safety tips before, during, and after flash flooding from SCOP:
• Listen to the forecast: Stay weather ready! Have two ways to receive weather alerts: Have a NOAA battery- powered radio and download weather apps.
• Know the terms:
Flash flood advisory: be aware.
Flash flood watch: prepare to act fast Flash flood warning: take action - flash flooding is imminent. Or occurring. Go to higher ground.
• Reschedule outdoor activities if flash flooding is predicted.
• Have a flood safety plan:
• Know where to evacuate: to higher ground from your home, work, or school. Know two alternative ways out of your neighborhood.
• Go kit: Have an emergency “go kit” that is portable with enough supplies to sustain your family and pets for seven days.
• Home Inventory: Create a home inventory with photos, videos, and receipts.
• Insurance: Purchase flood insurance for home and business at www.floodsmart.gov.
• Pets: Don’t leave pets behind. Ensure pets are ready to evacuate with you.
• Never drive into flood waters.
• Six inches of water can knock an adult off their feet and cause loss of vehicle control.
One foot of rushing water can carry away a small vehicle and two feet can float a large vehicle away (even an SUV). Remember...Turn Around, Don’t Drown!
• Do not drive around barricades.
• Use caution at night. You may not be able to see a sink hole or debris under flood water.
• Use caution! Check for structural damage before re-entering a structure.