How do you commemorate a storm that is not a hurricane or a tornado, but a derecho?
It turns out with a lot of rain.
It was 10 years ago today that the storm we all came to call “Hurricane Elvis” dropped in on Memphis suddenly with the straight line winds and heavy rains that define a derecho.
Here are some numbers from the safety of a decade later and the Shelby County Office of Preparedness that reflect what happened.
More than 300,000 homes were damaged and power out to 750,000 households in Memphis. Seven people died as a direct or indirect result of the storm and property damage was estimated at more than $500 million. Approximately 1,000 utility poles were snapped in the storm that clocked a top wind speed of 102 miles an hour Downtown. Three-fourths of the traffic signals in Shelby County were out or malfunctioning and the Northwest Airlines hub at Memphis International Airport closed.
Northwest Airlines? There’s another sign of the passage of time.