Obion County Struggles with Flooding
There is a state of emergency across parts of West Tennessee Tuesday night, as rivers overflow, forcing evacuations throughout Dyer and Obion Counties. The City of Rives is without a sewer system because of high flood waters, and in Kenton, officials say they have would have had the same situation if they had not breeched a levee. Officials in Kenton had to take two of their three sewage pumps out of service, Tuesday for fear they would be submerged in flood water. That meant no school, and very real fears for city leaders. Mayor Virginia Davidson, of Kenton, says, “It is devastating.” That is how city officials describe the amount of water backed up from a nearby levee that they say, may or may not, have been built legally by a local farmer. Mayor Davidson, adds, “We are in a state of emergency.” Water is 10 inches in some places, 25 feet in others, however, all eyes are on the sewer system. Two pumps already had to be taken out because of high flood water, leaving them with only one for the whole town. Tim Johns, with the water department, says, “One half inch before we pull it.” If water rises above a black line on the lift station, no flushing, showering, or washing clothes. Marcella Burress, a resident, says, “It’s all more or less on standstill.” Sewage from the nearby lagoon, according to officials, could also spill out onto the roadways and into houses. Johns, adds, “Even if we had done something Thursday, we still couldn’t have prevented this on our lift station.” Needless to say, a close eye is on the lift station, especially since their $90,000 system was destroyed in last year’s May flood. Mayor Davidson, says, “If we were out $90,000 again, it would clear us out of our savings and everything almost.” But officials say at the eleventh hour, the levee was breeched, allowing the water to recede enough to breathe a sigh of relief. Now all eyes turn toward the sun, to dry the town, they say, they almost lost. According to Mayor Davidson, they hope to get the two pumps back online no later than Wednesday morning, which would mean residents could flush, shower, and wash clothes like normal. Currently Obion County evacuations are only voluntary.