Flood waters create chaos at busy Memphis intersection - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Flood waters create chaos at busy Memphis intersection

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The busy intersection, as seen from Chopper 5 just before Noon on Friday. The busy intersection, as seen from Chopper 5 just before Noon on Friday.
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - Despite rising waters, the intersection of Highway 51 and North Watkins stayed open much of Friday, before the Tennessee Department of Transportation shut it down around 2:45 p.m.

But many motorists chose to ignore barricades posted in the intersection, and within moments of its closure, a car was stuck.

"I thought I go around this way," said the car's driver, Coleman Starnes.

Starnes, along with his dog, wasn't hurt.  But his car wasn't so lucky.

"It's sickening," he said.  "This ought not even flood.  They gonna do something about it? They ain't done a cotton-pickin' thing about it."

To cease blatant disregard, and ease the mayhem, Memphis police eventually shut down Highway 51 all together, at North Tire on 51 at Millington Road.  Quickly, owner Julie Chambers had a front row seat to a massive traffic backlog.

"It's normally like this at 5 o'clock, but it's been like this pretty much most of the day," she said.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation recommended the following routes for motorists traveling between Memphis and Millington:

- From Millington to Memphis - State Route 385 East to State Route 14 South to I-40 (Exit 8)

- From Memphis to Millington - I-40 (Exit 8) to State Route 14 North to State Route 385 West to State Route 3.

On Interstate 40, Exit 2A to Millington and Exit 3 to Watkins Road were also closed Friday.

Copyright 2011 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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