More storms rumble through rain-soaked area
Posted: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 9:04 pm
By KEVIN BOWDEN
Thick gray clouds rumbled back into Obion County early today as a reminder to area residents that these late-April storms aren’t finished.
It appears Mother Nature has more in store for rain-weary area residents.
Today marked the fifth straight day for heavy rains in Obion County. Officially, just over four inches of rain has fallen in Union City during the past four days and more rain is coming.
Already, Union City has seen dramatically more rainfall this spring than during last year’s drought. According to the official rainfall amount for Union City, 25.128 inches of rain has fallen so far this year, compared to 14.74 inches during the same period last year.
It was a year ago that area farmers were dealing with severe drought conditions, and now they are dealing with saturated farmland.
“It’s not good,” Tim Smith, Obion County office director for the University of Tennessee Extension Service, told The Messenger this morning.
He said local farmers had about 20 to 25 percent of their corn crop planted before all the rains came and now it appears they won’t get all their planned corn crop planted.
“We’ve got a couple of weeks before we reach critical,” Smith said. “It’s been a struggle and it continues to be a struggle.”
He explained that due to all the rain and the ground being so wet, farmers may have to abandon planting corn and will instead shift their attention to planting beans later this spring.
Earlier this week in Obion, a strong storm swept through the south side of town, ripping the roof off the former Obion City Hall and downing numerous trees in the Obion Avenue area. Monday night’s storms hit around 11, causing significant damage to houses in the area.
Residents in the Obion Avenue area were out in force Tuesday afternoon using heavy equipment and chainsaws to clear away downed trees and tree limbs. Several streets were impassable due to trees across the roadway.
In many cases, it was neighbors helping neighbors throughout the day Tuesday in Obion.
Further north, in Fulton County, Ky., it has been an extremely busy week there as officials have been dealing with heavy rains and flooding in the Hickman area.
Fulton County officials were meeting again this morning for the third consecutive day to discuss how to deal with this week’s storms. Fulton County Judge/Executive David Gallagher was meeting late this morning with Kentucky Congressman Ed Whitfield.
With all the rain that has fallen across southwest Kentucky and further north, the integrity of levees along the Mississippi River are being closely monitored. Levees on both sides of the swollen Mississippi River, just south of where it merges with the Ohio River, are at the point where the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is considering artificially opening the floodway south of Cairo, Ill.
That floodway, the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway, is located on the west side of the Mississippi River and extends southwesterly from Cairo to just north of Tiptonville.
The situation with the levees and flooding in Fulton County has residents and officials in Samburg concerned.
City Recorder Mary Swaim said she has been overwhelmed by phone calls from residents asking if they need to make arrangements to deal with flooding. A meeting was scheduled for 5 p.m. today at Samburg City Hall to discuss plans to deal with potential flooding.
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com.
Published in The Messenger 4.27.11