Memphis Emergency Official's Plea: Please Don't Go Near The River

May 9, 2011

While folks in Memphis anxiously watch and wait as the Mississippi River rises and near-historic flooding continues, the local emergency planning director says he's worried about people who are venturing out to see the display of nature's force.

"We're very concerned about that," Bob Nations, Shelby County's director of preparedness told All Things Considered host Melissa Block this afternoon. "The Mississippi is mighty, it's wicked ... and right now it's in a rage."

With the undercurrent "very strong," he added, "this is a dangerous river." Still, he said, families are heading out to see the flooding. Some are letting small children get near the water. And that, Nations says, is not wise.

Nations said the river should crest by early Tuesday, but that it will be many weeks — or longer — before the water's gone and the cleanup is finished.

Much more from his conversation with Melissa is due on today's broadcast. We'll add the as-aired version of the interview to the top of this post later. Click here to find an NPR station that broadcasts the show. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit