Press Release 


The National Weather Service will start daily river stage forecasts and flood warning services for northwest Mississippi's Coldwater River on June 11th, 2002. Forecasts will be for river gauges located just southeast of Olive Branch, MS and at Marks MS. Both locations suffered significant flooding last winter. Forecasts will give residents and Emergency Managers advance warning of impending floods.

"This new forecast service on the Coldwater River will be a valuable tool for the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency" said Buzz Merchlewitz, hydrologist for the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Memphis, TN. "The new forecasts will also benefit the farmers and residents, and help the National Weather Service meet its mission of protecting life and property, along the Coldwater River", he added.

Flood stage is set at 11.0 feet (291.0 feet msl) at Olive Branch and at Marks flood stage is set at 39.0 feet (159.71 feet msl). Flood warnings will be issued when the Coldwater River is forecast to reach those levels. These forecasts double the forecast and warnings points along the Coldwater River. Forecasts will now be issued for gauges near Olive Branch, Sarah, Marks, and where the Coldwater and Tallahatchie Rivers join near Lambert, MS. The river gauges are operated and funded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Geological Survey.

This is a joint effort from two National Weather Service offices - the Weather Forecast Office in Memphis, TN and the Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center in Slidell, LA. The River Forecast Center prepares forecasts for major rivers in the south-central part of the U.S. Covering approximately 200,000 square miles, the river center's area of responsibility includes most of Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Tennessee - and parts of neighboring states. The Memphis forecast office provides all the weather services for 56 counties in north Mississippi, west Tennessee, northeast Arkansas, and the boot heel of Missouri. Additional information is available at

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