Some Memphis areas could flood as Mississippi River continues to rise

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Mississippi River continued to rise in Memphis on Wednesday.

Wet weather in the north has poured extra water into the Mississippi River and the Ohio River, and that extra water is quickly making its way toward Memphis.

It will likely bring flooding with it.

Memphis resident Hollis Moore is retired. He parked his SUV on Mud Island Wednesday afternoon and took in the mighty Mississippi climbing higher and higher.

"I want to come back to see what it looks like after it crests," Moore said.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Memphis estimates that will happen January 9. Experts expect the river will crest at 43.5 feet.

Corps of Engineers spokesman Jim Pogue said that means the river could be 15 feet higher than it was Wednesday.

"It'll be up pretty high on Mud Island. I don't expect the river to go up over the road or anything like that, but people will see a pretty dramatic difference in river levels there on Mud Island," Pogue said.

WREG asked him about some of the trouble spots in Memphis that might take on water.

Mud Island is one of them, he said. Also, he mentioned the foot of Beale Street.

"I come down here every so often and walk some. I probably will keep an eye on it just to see if it really gets that high," said Memphis resident Shoun Ward.

Pogue also mentioned some low-lying stretches of Highway 51. There is a creek that runs under Highway 51, near Watkins.

Pogue said the Corps of Engineers put in decades working on the levee system. He said it is up to that system to work now.

"We can't protect every area. The topography of the land just doesn't permit that," Pogue said.

Moore said he trusts the Corps of Engineers, but he knows they can only do so much.

"I do, but mainly I think you have to leave it up to God," Moore said.

Pogue said it will also be common to see tree limbs and debris in the river, given the flooding.

He said he encourages the public to be aware of the latest information regarding the river.

The Mississippi River crested in Memphis at 48.7 feet in 1937 and 48.03 in 2011.

To check on flood warnings by zip code just click here.

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