MS River starting to recede, but flooding fight far from over - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

MS River starting to recede, but flooding fight far from over

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My 5: Photo courtesy of Gary Cox My 5: Photo courtesy of Gary Cox
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - The Army Corps of Engineers said starting Wednesday, floodwaters should start to recede about six inches per day.  Next week, they will start going down a foot a day.

The Corps' fight to keep the Mississippi River from spilling out of its banks is far from over.

The Corps said levees in the Mid-South continue to work as designed, but what dozens of inspectors are monitoring closely are what the Corps called sand boils.

Sand boils form when the pressure of the river on one side of a levee starts to "boil" up on the land side, similar to a geyser.

Lt. Col. Craig Hamilton with the Army Corps of Engineers said it is very important that the water remains clear.

"You don't want to have material moving through there from underneath the levee, because then you've got erosion going on beneath the levee, which could cause the levee to sink and eventually fail," said Hamilton.

Aerial footage showed what look suspiciously like sand boils along the levee in West Memphis, Arkansas.  A massive sand boil in Cairo, Missouri could only be contained by a huge moat made of rock.

"The ones we're seeing down here in the lower part of our area are rather minor," said Hamilton.

Although minor, Hamilton said they are under constant observation so the levees do not fail.

The Army Corps of Engineers asked that you report sand boils to your local levee board.  Call your local city hall or mayor's office to find out how to reach the board.

Meanwhile, the road to the Tunica Cutoff communities was underwater Wednesday.  About 350 homes are underwater and residents are not allowed it.

"Right now, I can't handle that I can't see my home," said evacuee Leslie Hernandez.  "I can't see where the damage is.  I'm only hearing that it's a foot in my house."

Furniture and other household items was floating inside some of the house, most of which are on stilts.

"This is the worst it's been since the highest flood we've had," said Tunica Mayor Chuck Cariker.

It is not clear when evacuees will be able to return to their homes.

Chopper 5 captured video Wednesday of nearly 100 deer surrounded by floodwater.

Floodwaters created an island south of downtown Memphis where the deer are trapped.

According to Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, the deer will return to their normal ranges once the floodwaters recede.

Copyright 2011 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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