When the Mississippi River crested Tuesday in Memphis, sadly, hundreds of homes in the low-lying neighborhoods were flooded and thousands of people were evacuated. Thankfully, one home in particular was spared from the swelling waters -- Elvis Presley's house Graceland, the city's most visited attraction. And, according to city officials, they'll do anything -- and I mean anything -- to make sure the landmark stays high and dry.
Here's the Director of the Shelby County Emergency Management Agency Bob Nations Jr. reporting on the situation at Graceland:
I want to say this: Graceland is safe. And we would charge hell with a water pistol to keep it that way and I'd be willing to lead the charge.
Another important attraction that's still safe from the flooding (at least for now): the Beale Street entertainment district, which played a significant role in the history of blues music and is currently home to many blues clubs and restaurants.
The historical landmarks may be safe, but that doesn't mean Memphis and its surrounding areas are in the clear. The river, which measured 13.87 feet above the flood stage, is expected to stay at that high level for several days before receding as the crest moves downriver. And, in fact, the real flooding concern is with the Wolf and Loosahatchie Rivers -- two tributaries that feed into the Mississippi and are expected to flood thousands of properties in the suburbs and mobile home parks along their banks.
Eventually, the bulge of water -- which is working its way from north to south along the Mississippi -- is expected to hit Louisiana by next week. However, forecasters are hoping that the levees as well as the opening of a spillway to divert some of the water away from New Orleans and other low-lying communities near the mouth of the Mississippi River will help to reduce the severity of the flooding.
So far in Memphis the levees protecting the area are holding up. Our thoughts are with Tennessee and Louisiana residents, and we hope they stay safe.
Image via Like_The_Grand_Canyon/Flickr