Dyersburg experiences worst flood in over 70 years

By Lori Brown - bio | email

DYERSBURG, TN (WMC-TV) - Dyersburg is in the middle of it's biggest flood in more than 70 years. The Forked Deer River finally crested at six o'clock Tuesday evening.

The town, with businesses and homes halfway underwater, looks eerie.

"I've never seen water this high, nowhere near," Adam Williams said while he drove an Action News Five photographer and reporter out on a boat. Williams took the crew along what used to be a main road in the city, South Main.

You could only see the top of a sign warning drivers that the road is closed. It's a point that is now obvious.

At a grocery store, a man's livelihood is now literally underwater.

"Plaza Grocery he's completely lost," Gerald Evans said. "Everything he's got is floating around in there. He was standing in it today, water up to his chest."

Soda Machines outside the store are sunk. A gas station is submerged.

Many of the flooded businesses have been in the town for decades, without so much as a drop of water inside.

"My grandfather built a business down there 40 something years ago," Evans said. "We never had water in there. Now we have about three and a half feet, maybe more inside the building."

Evans is trying to look at his situation as a glass that's "half-empty".

"At least we have a dry bed to go home and sleep to."

Dozens of people don't, take a look at their houses that are half-way underwater.

Donald Summers has to take a boat to get to his house.

"Everything is a mess," he said. "It's dark and there are snakes around."

Since it's sink or swim for Dyersburg, Adam Williams is confident, the people of Dyersburg will choose to swim.

"Dyersburg is a strong community, we'll get it cleaned up and back to normal," Williams said.

Officials say they expect the water will start going down soon. Once all the water is gone, it means the cleanup process will be just beginning.

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