Local News

Pump Failures Lead To Flooding At General DeWitt Spain Airport

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - The M.C. Stiles Wastewater Treatment Plant lost power for a short time Thursday night, which caused two pumps to fail and reverse flow of river water into the peninsula, which impacted General DeWitt Spain Airport. Because of that, a mixture of river water and sewage partially flooded the area around the airport and runway.

General DeWitt Spain Airport is not closed, but airport leaders said should flooding cover the runway, the airport will be closed. The terminal building and hangers are not expected to be affected.

In response, the airport authority and U.S. Corps of Engineers are sending crews to assist and give aircraft owners options to move their planes should that be necessary. Crews also put sandbags around the airports fuel system, so it doesn't float.

The Mississippi River is forecasted to crest this weekend at 39.5 feet. That's in minor flood stage, but about nine feet lower than historic flooding of 1937 and 2011. The river levels are forecasted to drop next week.

The city of Memphis plans to hold a news conference Friday afternoon.

(CITY OF MEMPHIS RELEASE)

Pump failures at the M.C. Stiles Wastewater Treatment Plant have led to flooding of the runway and T-hangars at General DeWitt Spain Airport. The terminal building and common hangars are not expected to be affected by the flooding.

The flooding has not impacted any residential areas.

The General DeWitt Spain Airport is located north of Mud Island at 2787 North Second Street.

A loss of electricity, due in part to the current high level of the Mississippi River, led to the failure of the two pumps. The City is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to make repairs as quickly as possible.

Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority crews have been dispatched to Spain to help move aircraft and property out of the low areas to high ground. Sand bags have been placed around the GA fuel system to prevent the tank from floating. Tenants have been notified of the situation.

The Mississippi River was observed at 39.35 feet at 8 a.m. today. It is forecast to crest this weekend at 39.5 feet. That’s in minor flood stage, and about nine feet lower than the historic flooding of 2011 and 1937.

(FROM MEMPHIS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT)

The City of Memphis advised Airport Authority late Thursday, March 8, of a significant electrical failure affecting their ability to pump wastewater through MC Stiles Wastewater Treatment Plant. The result is a reverse flow of river water into the peninsula impacting General DeWitt Spain Airport. Residential areas are not affected.

The Authority and City, assisted by US Corp of Engineers, are deploying resources in an effort to protect Airport property. As a precaution, the Airport Authority has been coordinating with tenants and aircraft owners to relocate aircraft elsewhere as quickly as possible in case water should overflow the runway, which would necessitate the closure of the airport. Currently, the airport remains operational, but incoming aircraft is being diverted to other airports.

The terminal building and common hangars are not expected to be affected by the flooding.

Airfield crews are being dispatched to Spain to help move aircraft and property out of the low areas to high ground. Sand bags will be placed around the GA fuel system to prevent the tank from floating as well.

Regulatory agencies have been notified, and we remain in contact with the city’s operations and communications staff and will keep you updated. The City of Memphis plans to hold a press conference at 1230 pm today.


Latest News