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Evacuations underway after levee breach in Obion Co., TN


Heavy rain has caused a levee breach north of Kenton, Tennessee on Saturday night, March 12.

According to the Northwest Tennessee Disaster Services on Twitter, evacuations were underway after the breach.

Obion County Emergency Management Director Danny Jowers says the Obion River arose so high it spilled over levees.

The levee breach appears to have affected the low-lying Eastern part of the city of Kenton. At least 20 homes were evacuated.

A small break in a farmer’s levee North of town — is providing some relief to the town but is flooding the farmers field.

Deonte Flora, 29, a native of Kenton said the flood forced his parents to evacuate Saturday evening. His parents were celebrating their 39th wedding anniversary when they were forced from their home.

“Everybody was in a panic. Pretty much, we just had enough time to get them some clothes,” Flora said. “Get their medications that they need to take daily, get out pretty much.”

Flora said they evacuated with little warning or help from the community.

“All I can do is pray to the good lord and hope that the water don’t get back up,” Flora said. “That’s all we can stand on.”

Shirley Heathcock, 73, says her home flooded in April, 2011 and she’s not willing to rebuild if the flood takes it again.

“Nope, I’m not fixing it up again. No, I’m not. I can’t go through that no two or three times,” Heathcock said.

“I aint going to worry about anything cause God will take care of meI look to that man for that,” Heathcock said.

Paul Lancaster, 66, lives a few houses away from the Flora family home along Hall street. Water has yet to reach his doorstep but he says he’s been on edge because of it.

“It’s miserable. Your setting at edge, you can’t relax, you can’t rest,” Lancaster said. You’re thinking that you’re going to get a knock at any second on the door saying well, you’re going to have to evacuate.”

Lancaster’s home was also flooded in 2011. He is calling for a buyout from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Volunteers with the American Red Cross were in Kenton on Sunday assessing damages.

Red Cross volunteer David Brumley said the organization is working to decide if disaster relief is necessary.

They also reported flooding in downtown Martin, Tenn.

A Flood Warning continues for  the North Fork Obion River near Martin until Thursday, March 17.

Jowers said the rain prediction is concerning and could add to the damage already sustained.

An estimated 4 to 7 inches of rain have fallen on already saturated ground within the last week.

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