Winter storms leave behind potholes, potential flooding in Memphis

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Friday was the first day in more than a week that we started to see this ice and snow start to melt, but now the area has to start worrying about potholes and potential flooding.

Some Mid-South residents may have gotten used to the rumbling and bumps of driving through the ice and snow, but as the winter weather melts around the Mid-South, a more familiar problem will return.

“Historically, when we’ve had this much freeze thaw and a serious cold, icing conditions and roads will have an impact in terms of increasing the number of potholes,” said Robert Knecht, City of Memphis public works director.

The pothole problem around Memphis will get even worse, for at least a short period of time.

“We spent thirty days the last time we had an event of this kind of nature to get caught up with potholes,” Knecht said.

The ice and snow are melting, and the 10-12 inches of wintery mix on the ground has to go somewhere. Fortunately, experts are not concerned with the Mississippi River reaching dangerous levels.

“As impressive as it looks, there’s not as much water in there as you might think. We’re not anticipating major flooding issues at this time,” said Gary Woodall, National Weather Service warning coordination meteorologist.

But the city might have its own problems. Officials believe drainage systems could be strained in the days ahead.

“Flooding will be a challenge because you never know how quickly the drainage system may have any issues. The crews that are currently on snow and ice will be shifted to flooding challenges,” Knecht said.

Experts say it will take seven to 10 days for the Mid-South ecosystem to regulate itself.

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