Mid-South officials prepare for the possibility of soaking rains, warn residents

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- With Tropical Storm Cindy hitting the Gulf Coast, the Mid-South is bracing for soaking rains.

The downpours will come after a round of storms hit last weekend, and crews are still cleaning up after the Tom Lee storm left tens of thousands in the dark over Memorial Day weekend.

Officials are issuing the warning to be on the lookout for flash flooding.

On Wednesday Shelby County crews worked to clear drains before soaking rains saturate the Mid-South.

"The unique challenge with this one when it comes to cleaning storm drains is we still have debris on the road from the previous storms, and so those are things that are going to present some challenges," explained Dale Lane, director of the Shelby County Office of Preparedness.

Those challenges are felt by Bo Mitchell in Frayser. He’s still cleaning up from the destructive Memorial Day storm after a tree fell on his house.

"I hope it don’t do like it did before. Man I can’t deal with that again," he said.

Lane spent Wednesday meeting with weather officials and area leaders to discuss a plan of action.

He says he’s been communicating with the city, which has teams clearing storm drains and doing extra street sweeping.

"Which should help us with the blockages and also doing everything they can to go to those high-impact areas," he said.

Flooding is a concern, and we also can’t forget about our trees. The trees have already been through the storm several weeks ago and heavy rain this weekend.

"Anytime you add that extra surface weight to the trees as the water soaks through the bark, that could cause some instability coupled with a little bit of wind, doesn’t have to be much that’s gonna cause some problems. And just in general weakened trees we have so much clay in our soil it really doesn’t drain well, so it holds onto water and becomes very slick. You lose your anchoring capacity for these root systems," said Terran Arwood with Woodland Tree Service.

Arwood says if you are concerned, try to get a company out to check on trees near your home.

Before the storm rolls through,  the county’s message: Be prepared.

Know where to evacuate, have a go kit, create a home inventory, purchase flood insurance and don’t leave pets behind.

The main message is don’t be afraid, but be prepared.

The county and city plan to have crews out continuing to clear drains through the week.

If there are drains near your home you can't clear, you can call the county at 901-222-6700 or 901-357-0100 for the city of Memphis.


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