New rules to live by in Memphis' Northaven community
A man rakes debris Wednesday in a flooded mobile home park in the Memphis, Tennessee, suburb of Northaven.
May 11th, 2011
04:05 PM ET

New rules to live by in Memphis' Northaven community

The Memphis, Tennessee, suburb of Northhaven has been flooded extensively, and now the community has some unofficial new rules aimed at keeping people safe.

"If you're thinking of going swimming in the floodwaters, don't," Shelby County sheriff's spokesman Chip Washington said. "Some folks have been in the water, letting their kids play in the water. It's extremely dangerous. It's no joke. It really isn't."

Parts of Memphis have flooded thanks to a swollen Mississippi River. The river on Tuesday crested at Memphis more than 13 feet above flood stage, just short of a Memphis record set in 1937.

Washington said people should be mindful of debris, contaminated water, rodent infestation and snakes. Animals have been fleeing the river basin, and poisonous water moccasins and copperheads have been showing up in people's yards.


Click the audio player to hear the rest of the story from CNN Radio's John Sepulvado:


"We had a moccasin hang out in the back for about an hour," Northaven auto mechanic Eric Scott said. "In 15 years I've never seen anything like this. We had flash floods last year, but it's like a zoo out back (of the auto shop)."

"There have been alligators showing up in people's yards," Washington said. "People need to be careful."

Residents of the Memphis Mobile City mobile home community have been living with rules for years. The compound posts signs warning against trespassing, soliciting and loud music. Now there's a new rule posted: Don't enter until the waters clear. About 180 people lost their homes here, including Alda and Walter Garcia. Their home near the front of the park is submerged.

They were able to relocate most of their belongings while the waters rose.  However, the storage unit they moved their property to flooded as well. Alda is devastated, and her son Walter says the family is waiting on Federal Emergency Management Agency to find temporary housing.

"They're going to tell us where we're going to live. Right now we're staying at the shelter," Walter said. About 500 others also are at shelters around Memphis.

"We are going to have to start all over again," Walter said. "And it's sad, but we else can we do?"

It could be weeks before residents are allowed to return to their flooded homes. Although the river has crested in Memphis, the water is receding slowly, leaving an old rule to live by: Patience is a virtue.

You can listen to the CNN Radio Reports podcast on itunes or subscribe to the podcast here.

Post by:
Filed under: Tennessee • Weather
soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. raven

    So so sad . My thoughts are with all those affected by the floods .

    May 11, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • truthbtold

      "My thoughts are with all those affected by the floods"

      are your "thoughts" are compassionate thoughts for "everyone" or the "katrina" thoughts of compassion for everyone except for "those people" in the 9th ward. just wondering...

      May 11, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • stormsun

      Truthbtold: someone makes a statement expressing good wishes for those experiencing a calamity, and you have to respond with thinly-veiled insinuations? Why?

      May 11, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dwight Guy

      @truthbtold, why don't you just come out and say it? My thoughts aren't with anyone in Memphis, but the first thing that came to mind when I saw the headline about "new rules" was that one old rule still applies. That rule? Watch out for black people. They're far more likely to harm you or steal from you than others.

      May 11, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Rhonda S.

    I think all these natural diasters is earths way of decreasing th population. Which will help our world overall.

    May 11, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • shack

      Yes yes, I agree!

      May 11, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  3. banasy

    @Rhonda S:

    Hopefully, you and your family will never have to experience the Earth's way of keeping the population down.

    I am sorry for these people's losses.

    May 11, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • dakeebs

      that is why i am refusing to bear children. this is Earth's way of responding to over population and pollution. i'm gonna give 110% of myself to help those when our disaster hits California.

      May 11, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Stefania

    here comes the beginning of the police state...just wait...those people will not be let out of the FEMA camps that are already in place...you will never hear from them again. Man-made/government disasters, and soon to be false flag attacks will soon put maybe even you in one of the government's emergency facilities and not be let out. You have been warned.

    May 11, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • FedUpWith naa-sayers

      where on earth are you dreaming all that up.. pleezzzzzzzzzz – are you from another planet.. ?? ggeeeezzzzzzzzzz, it isn't enough with all the politicial BS that is going around.. then you come along with this mess.. !

      May 11, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Whatever loser.

      Seriously?! Quit reading World Nut Daily and get with the REAL WORLD. I am sick and tired of "Americans" like you thinking your government wants to abuse you. YOU are YOUR government! You elect your leaders! Do yourself a favor - Get your head out of your butt and quit spewing such stupid lies.

      May 11, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Totally Disgusted

      Yep, it's ALL Obama and the liberal media's doing. The earthquakes in Haiti, Chile and NOW Spain, the flooding of the Mississippi River . . . you need to get back on your meds lady! SMH

      May 11, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • stormsun

      This is one of the sillier comments I've seen in some time.

      May 11, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • 2FLI

      Ya know, I gotta think if the government can create a disaster of this size, then I gotta think they could skip all the shenanigans and just place us in a police state. I mean why keep it on the down-low? Why do they need to be coy? With that kind of power they could do as they pleased and there wouldn't be anything we could do. It's not like they would need our approval to put us in a police state if they have the power to destroy cities on a whim.

      Or.....maybe it just rained like hell for two weeks and this is what happens.

      May 12, 2011 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
  5. janos rutaihwa

    This is when we really need to help eachother

    May 11, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Cesar

    Rhonda S: You sound ridicules, simply ridicules.

    May 11, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. truthbtold

    every time the media reports about floods, i'm just reminded of katrina and how the government abandoned the people stuck there to die because they lived on "the wrong side of the track." it was a national disgrace but the rest of the world got to see the true face of america, and it's not pretty.

    May 11, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tell the Truth

      That wasn't the face of American, THAT was the face of a cabinet that had lost touch with the majority of this country's citizens.

      May 11, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • atlantisapple

      The mother of floods will be New York City if a hurricane makes it that far up the coast again. It has happen before in the 1940's. The infrastructure here is old and crumbling. A bad thunderstorm dumping 3 to 4 inches causes severe street flooding, power outages, system-wide commuter trains outages... Experts predict that it would only take a category 3 to cripple the city to a point of no return.

      May 11, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. stormsun

    Alligators in Memphis? I lived there until recently, and never heard of an alligator that far north. Water moccasins, copperheads, absolutely. But alligators? Is he serious?

    May 11, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • danieljsf

      I used to live in Memphis and also never heard of alligators that far north. They have grown in population and can be found about halfway up Mississippi now, but I'm not aware that they are found in or around Memphis at all.

      May 11, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Nick

    Here's a new rule. Stop building in flood prone areas.

    May 11, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • atlantisapple

      Easy for you to say. You have a nice safe dry cave to share with your Neanderthal buddies.

      May 11, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  10. jan johnson

    you people need to get real!!!! if you have lived by the golden rule you wouldnt have this issues. Do unto others as if you have them do unto you. we all have to join forces and work together or we all fall down. being All poor we havent far to fall. beware of them penthouses that will leave a mark!!! see a brother in need give they hand in help not the finger.

    May 11, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. raven

    My thoughts are with all victims, truthbtold. Its a long trip to get there where Im from so I didnt actually visit, but we have donated about 3,200 bucks that I WORKED for .what have YOU done for your fellow man?

    May 11, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • truthbtold

      "3,200 bucks that I WORKED for"
      that you "worked" for??? what an odd thing to say. you normally "don't" work for your money? i'm only kidding. it's good that your thoughts are with "all" the victims (sadly too many don't feel the same way) and you sound very sincere. donating money is good but there are people that donate to feed their "i'm more righteous than you" ego. and big companies too donate not because they care, but it helps to further their corporate agenda (usually $$$). helping your fellow in other ways beside donating money is equally and sometimes more powerful. just food for "thought."

      May 11, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jan johnson

    theser storms are the way earth cleans and washes shakes n blow drys freshing up its self.It only becomes diaster if your in the way of the earths eco systems murry's law still rules here.

    May 11, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
  13. jan johnson

    for your imformation i live in a semi truck. my home is being used by a devoriced woman with 4 kids. hows home burned down last summer leaveing them out on the streets. i found them if she did have a dead beat ex that would pay more then 9. bucks a month in support she mit be alright. but she not but she has me. how do you have? attudie gets you no ware fast.

    May 11, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Frank

    I think they made up the part about alligators just to make it sound scary. Alligators are not in Memphis.

    May 11, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dwight Guy

    I should add that I live in Oklahoma, and within a mile of an apartment complex that is full of "victims" of Katrina who formerly lived in the Lower 9th Ward. Crime is at an all time high. Last year, this complex had more shootings than any other complex in the city. I'm not prejudiced. I do not "pre judge". I judge based on personal experience, and if blacks want me to stop hating them so much, they're going to have to work to regain my trust.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4