Resort owner: Flooding bad, but fishing good

Resort owner: Flooding bad, but fishing good

Posted: Thursday, May 5, 2011 9:55 pm
By: Kevin Bowden, Staff Reporter

Resort owner: Flooding bad, but fishing good | Resort owner: Flooding bad, but fishing good
By KEVIN BOWDEN
Staff Reporter
Reelfoot Lake resort owner Mike Hayes sees recent flooding as both a blessing and a curse. High waters at the lake are creating ideal fishing conditions, but then there is all that flooding.
Hayes owns and manages the Blue Bank Resort and Marina on the west end of Lake Drive. His is one of the only resorts still sending fishing boats out on the lake.
“It’s fixing to be the best fishing ever,” he said Wednesday afternoon.
On the down side, rising waters on the lake have seeped into one of his cabins and the harbor behind his resort is underwater.
It’s a rare scene for such high water at the lake, but taking into consideration recent weather conditions, it’s a situation that everyone along Lake Drive is coping with this week.
“It’s getting close,” Hayes told The Messenger about the floodwaters reaching his resort.
He has added about 20 boats to his fleet and is stacking the boats on his pier and then filling them with water to weigh down the pier.
Hayes estimated the water has risen about four inches in the past 12 hours. The lake is currently being impacted by recent rains and Hayes said by Monday the lake may be impacted by flooding from the Mississippi River.
He said he is looking for some 55-gallon drums that he could fill with water and then use to barricade his resort and he said he will start using sandbags to create a wall against the floodwaters.
Because of all the high water along the south shore of Reelfoot Lake, Hayes said a no wake zone is in effect for boaters traveling along the shoreline.
Obion County Mayor Benny McGuire told The Messenger today deputies with the Obion County Sheriff’s Department and members of the Obion County Rescue Squad have been working in the Samburg area around-the-clock.
He encouraged motorists traveling in flooded areas to use only the main roads and not try to travel down secondary roads that may be hazardous due to flooding.
Inmates from the Lake County Jail and prisons in Lake County have been out sandbagging in the Samburg area, according to McGuire, who said early today the flooding seems to have reached a turning point.
He has been traveling throughout the area checking on flood-damaged areas and even traveled to Dyersburg Tuesday to meet with Gov. Bill Haslam and other officials.
McGuire met Wednesday with Lake County Mayor Macie Roberson and Fulton County, Ky., Judge Executive David Gallagher and said he was encouraged by reports from those two officials.
“I think we’re OK,” McGuire said about flooding in Lake County.
“The Fulton County levee is going to be in good shape, we think,” he said after meeting with Gallagher.
McGuire explained the floodwaters in Fulton County were expected to rise about another 21⁄2 feet, but said the levee is still about four feet above the water level.
“I feel comfortable,” he said. “I think we’re at the peak of this thing.”
In a related development, state Sen. Roy Herron has dispatched a letter to Gov. Bill Haslam, Maj. Gen. James Bassham, who serves as director of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, and Maj. Gen. Terry Haston, adjutant general of the Tennessee National Guard. In his letter, he requested “immediate and substantial help from the Tennessee National Guard.”
“In our neighbors to the north and west, both the Kentucky and Missouri National Guards are playing large and enormously helpful roles in serving and protecting the people of those two states,” he wrote. “Kentucky presently has about 500 members of the National Guard deployed in five counties. They are helping with traffic, security, levee patrols and inspections, keeping roads clear, evacuations and sandbagging.”
Herron’s letter goes on to state, “We are asking for help in both counties since the situation in Samburg and on the shores of Reelfoot Lake has become urgent and the flooding in Tiptonville and Lake County already has caused unfortunate and significant damage.”
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by e-mail at kmbowden@ucmessenger.com.
Published in The Messenger 5.5.11

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