West Tennessee flooding threatens crops and businesses

Local In TN

RIPLEY, Tenn. (LocalMemphis.com) – Severe flooding is threatening cotton and soybean crops in Lauderdale County, Tennessee, and rising waters might also keep fall crops from getting planted.

Our Local 24 News crew had to take a boat to check out the flooding.

Lauderdale County native, Willie Vandergriff said, “This is the first time in history that it’s been up this long.”

Our Local 24 News crew traveled to Chisholm Lake Store Restaurant in Ripley, Tennessee, by boat, to check out flooding. The restaurant has been closed for months but people say the owner found a clever way to keep loyal customers.

“Chisholm Lake is one of our lakes that we have in the county. There’s a restaurant there and they’ve had boat nights instead because they haven’t been open since January,” said local resident and antique vendor at Outside the Box antique store, Leigh Ann Smalley-Ward.

Every other Saturday, people can travel by boat to the floating restaurant to eat. The owner says the business is suffering, but boat night is better than nothing.

“You go from 300 people a night to 50 people a night, that hurts that business tremendously,” Vandergriff said.

The locals say they deal with flooding every year, but it’s never been this bad for this long. In our Drone 24 video, you can see what should be acres of cotton and soybean fields and roads but nearly 200,000 acres are under water.

“They’ve just lost their this year’s living. It’s bad,” said Vandergriff.

Smalley-Ward said, “Just about any direction you go if you live in Lauderdale County, you’re gonna come to the flooding. It’s affected so many people.”

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