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May 4, 2011

Flooding Causes Outages to TDOT SmartWay Cameras in Memphis Area

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The Tennessee Department of Transportation wants to alert the public of significant outages to the TDOT SmartWay camera system in the Memphis area due to flooding along the Mississippi River. Approximately 30 cameras on Interstates 40 and 55 are off-line at this time, with outages possibly lasting as long as three weeks.

The Mississippi River flooding is currently threatening the main center that feeds power to the cameras on I-40 and I-55 from West Memphis, Arkansas to the Mississippi River Bridge in Memphis. The power center has been shut down in an effort to salvage transformers, and electronic hardware is being removed from cameras in the path of the flood.

A separate network communications center on I-40 near the Wolf River is also in danger of flooding, placing a number of other TDOT SmartWay cameras in jeopardy. TDOT personnel are monitoring water levels in this area three times per day and may be forced to disable more cameras along the I-40 corridor in the coming days.

During these outages, motorists can access up to date travel information by visiting www.tn.gov/tdot/tdotsmartway or dialing 5-1-1 from any land line or cell phone. Travelers can also follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TN511 for statewide travel information or www.twitter.com/Memphis511 for traffic information in the Memphis area. Also, for smart phone users, TDOT has a new mobile site that provides simple and easy access to TDOT’s SmartWay cameras, message boards, accident information, and construction information. Go to: http://m.tdot.tn.gov/SmartWay/

Motorists are reminded to use all motorist information tools responsibly. Drivers should refrain from texting, tweeting or using a mobile phone while operating a vehicle. TDOT advises drivers to “Know before you go!” by checking traffic conditions before leaving for their destination.