Hardin County flooding hits homes, Catfish Hotel

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HARDIN COUNTY, Tenn. — Rivers and creeks have pushed over their banks and flooded hundreds of thousands of acres in West Tennessee.

In Hardin County, the Tennessee River has flooded dozens of homes, closed schools and shut down roads — and it may get worse before it gets better.

Flooding near Pickwick Dam hit Hardin County hard over the weekend, including a historic restaurant in Shiloh. In Saltillo, north of Savannah, water customers are without water because the town’s water pump is underwater.

Hardin County Emergency Management officials said floods closed 105 roads and dozens of houses. There have been a number of water rescues and evacuations, though no injuries were reported.

Hagy’s Catfish Hotel reported on its Facebook page that floodwaters had entered the building.

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Melvin Martin, director of Hardin County Emergency Management, said the Tennessee River was expected to crest Monday, just shy of a record high.

“The TVA is telling us the crest is today for the Tennessee River here in Savannah, somewhere in the range of 394 feet above sea level. So that is two feet shy of our record we had in 1973,” Martin said,

This section of Hardin County is a popular spot for people to build vacation and weekend homes. This is considered a flood plain, so most newly built homes are elevated.

“And we have a lot of people from the Memphis area that have homes and lots out here,” Martin said. “So there’s going to be a lot of damage in those areas.”
martin says one hundred five roads have been shutdown in the county because of flooding.

The Red Cross has opened a shelter at Savannah Church of Christ.

That’s where we found Dan West and his dog Diamond. The pair left their flooded home in the nearby Olive Hill community.

West says someone donated a bag of dog food, but he could only grab a few things like a blanket and sleeping bag.

Monday afternoon he sat down for a chicken dinner at the shelter and was hoping to get some dry clothes. For a man who’s lost everything, his outlook is very positive.

“You have to look at it. Life goes on. It is what it is, I guess.”

We also met 7-year-old Brianna Plunkett, who came to the Red Cross shelter with her sister and grandmother for one important reason: to help people.

“She kept saying, ‘Grandma, I want to go help someone, I wanna go help someone,” said Vickie Bonee of Crump, Tennessee. “Even if it’s just to make a bed, sweep a floor, or walk the dogs, or feed them, she’s willing to help.”

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