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Mid-South residents cleaning up after record overnight flooding

OLIVE BRANCH, Miss. —   People across the Mid-South are cleaning up after record-breaking overnight showers flooded homes and cars.

WREG meteorologist Jim Jaggers said rainfall totals at Memphis International Airport broke a calendar-day record set in 1905 by an inch.

According to the National Weather Service in Memphis, Olive Branch received 8.70 inches of rainfall from 7 p.m. Thursday to 7 a.m. Friday. By daylight, most of the water had receded.

Nonconnah Creek rose to 27.5 feet, the highest it's been since 1975.

One resident who lives in the area of Highway 178 and East Sandidge Road told WREG she was awakened by firefighters around 4 a.m. They told her there was flooding in her neighborhood and that they were going around checking on residents to make sure they were okay.

“The entire street was flooded," said Olive Branch resident Willie Jefries.  “And they said, ‘Are you OK?’ And I walk out, and I just saw floodwaters up to the mailbox.

 “All my neighbors' vehicles are underwater.”

According to the Shelby County Emergency Management and Homeland Security Office, three apartment complexes sustained damage as well as about 50 cars at a local Honda dealership at Hacks Cross Road and Highway 385.

On Fawn Valley Drive in the Windyke area, more flooded streets, but thankfully there was no damage inside people's homes.

“I’ve got over five inches in my rain gauge and five inches is all it’ll hold, so I really don’t know how much rain I got," said Leland Brown.

According to the City of Germantown, up to 30 homes and several vehicles sustained damage, including a fire engine and ambulance, after an estimated 10 inches of rain fell overnight.  Several people even reported having up to two feet of water inside their homes.

Officials said they are now going door to door to assess the damage to see if they can get federal funding to help in the cleanup effort. These employees will be in yellow vests with the Germantown logo on the front.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office said firefighters were forced to to evacuate people in some areas of the county.

Despite all the flooding and cleaning up that needs to be done there are no reports of anyone being hurt.

The Shelby County Emergency Management and Homeland Security Office had the following safety tips to share:

  • Clean debris from storm drains before rain begins.
  • Have a plan to evacuate to higher ground.
  • Know alternative routes to and from work.
  • Avoid traveling at night when it is difficult to see flash floods and ponding.
  • Never drive through water on the roadways, “Turn around, don’t drown!”
  • Avoid bridges over fast moving water.
  • Do not drive around barricades and anticipate street closures.
  • Do not walk or swim in flood waters (flood waters can be toxic). If you must walk through flood waters to reach higher ground, shower as soon as possible.
  • Do not allow children or pets near flood waters.
  • Have a disaster kit for home and auto to sustain you for 7 day and nights.
  • Have a pet and animal plan to move them to higher ground during flooding if needed.
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