Memphis Flood

BREAKING: CNN Guy needs waders to stand feet from dry, shaded production tent.
//check it out at http://bit.ly/m94glH

My friends picture and post to Facebook sums up the Memphis Flood of 2011. Other than the Mississippi being at historically record highs, the rest of the flood story has been hijacked and used sensationally by the national media outlets to present Memphis as underwater.

I’ve heard statistics quoted locally with numbers that vary but they all are generally in the area of 500 people in shelters and 2000 that received evacuation notices…notices that say you MAY be in danger so begin making plans. This is a tragedy for the folks that have been affected and I think the faith community here in Memphis is doing a great job of housing most or all of the 500. I guess the others didn’t leave or don’t need a shelter. In addition the citizens of Memphis are taking supplies to these shelters as the shelters post their needs on websites. Everybody’s fine…I promise!

Meanwhile, every national story I’ve seen from NBC and CNN has been true, except by excluding facts the story seems more dramatic than it really is. They all had their news reporter standing in 2 – 4 feet of water as if their life was in peril. But what you really have is the picture above.

I took the entire family to the river bluff Sunday for Mother’s Day and so did everyone else in Memphis. It was a beautiful sunny day but I was shocked that we didn’t see houses and people floating past us on the raging Mississippi! Nope, big river rolling along with a bunch of tourists standing in the hot sun looking at it. Oh yeah, streets and intersections are flooded out and impassable, but there are no people wandering aimlessly looking for their belongings or loved ones that have been swept away by the “flood”. The river has slowly crept past it’s banks and all the smart people in Memphis left their endangered houses and are safe. There have been no reports of ANY deaths or even almost deaths.

Then to aggravate things, starting last Thursday up until yesterday I have received emails and phone calls from friends and relatives all over the country checking to make sure I’m ok. The first few I was very thankful for and explained how things have been blown out of proportion. The last few I’ve almost been mad! THERE’S NO FLOOD AND I’M FINE! You didn’t call me when I had an emergency appendectomy but a river overflowing 20 miles from my house concerns you?

We all hear about “media bias” and know that it exists if anything because the distance from the story leaves room to believe there are more details than what’s being reported. As I sit in the town being reported on by Diane Sawyer and Al Roker as being underwater, while I know that only .01 % of the city is wet, I can’t help butfeel I must be in a different Memphis.

I wonder if New Orleans during Katrina was as bad as it was shown on national television? This historical event has taught me one thing….I should’ve told everyone concerned to send me money.

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