High Mississippi River water helps cause airport flooding

March 9, 2018

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — High water from the Mississippi River led to flooding Friday at a small airport in Tennessee.

Officials said the river’s elevated water levels have contributed to a loss of electricity at two pumps at a wastewater treatment plant near General DeWitt Spain Airport in Memphis. Pump failure caused sewage and water to partially flood areas around the airport’s runway and some hangars.

The general aviation airport is open but will close if water covers the runway, according to a news release from the city. The terminal building is not expected to be affected by flooding.

The Mississippi River in the Memphis area, which saw record rainfall in February and has seen more rain in early March, is in minor flood stage. The river is forecast to crest Friday at 39.5 feet (12 meters) in Memphis, officials said.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it has been monitoring levees, flood walls and pumping stations in Memphis, along with Clarksdale, Mississippi, and Helena and West Memphis in Arkansas.

The river has crested or is cresting at Cairo, Illinois; New Madrid and Caruthersville, Missouri; Osceola, Arkansas; and Tiptonville, Tennessee, according to the National Weather Service.

Update hourly