Flash floods in Tennessee: at least 10 dead, dozens missing


At least 10 people were killed and around 40 more were missing on Saturday after catastrophic flash floods swept through central Tennessee, authorities said.

Rob Edwards, the deputy chief of the Humphreys County Sheriff’s Office, confirmed the number of missing and dead and said authorities were carrying out house-to-house checks in the hardest hit areas of Humphreys, a county rural about 18,500, about 72 miles west of Nashville.

There have been “power outages across the region,” MP Edwards said in an email. “To compound the problems is the loss of all cell phone coverage from the major carriers,” he added.

Portable communication units have been brought in to help restore service, he said.

“We have lost a lot of roads, both rural roads and main roads,” he said. “In my 28 years, this is the worst I have ever seen.”

The devastation came after about eight to ten inches of rain inundated Dickson, Hickman, Houston and Humphreys counties, the National Weather Service said Saturday morning.

On Saturday evening, officials reported that some areas had received more than a foot of rain.

In McEwen, a small community in Humphreys County, just over 17 inches of rain fell, setting a new 24-hour precipitation record for the area, the Weather Service noted.

Local news channels showed brownish floodwaters submerging homes almost up to their rooftops, sweeping highways and overturning trucks and cars.

Tennessee Emergency Management Agency said the state emergency operations center had been activated in Nashville to support water rescues and other urgent requests for help from local authorities.

“Our first priority is to help responders gain access to the area and conduct rescue operations,” Major General Jeff Holmes, Adjutant General of the Tennessee National Guard, wrote on Twitter. “We will continue to increase the number of forces depending on the situation and we will position additional specialized units to meet the need. “

According to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, at least 4,200 people across the state have lost power. He said the flooding in affected counties was “dangerous and scalable,” and urged residents to stay off the roads, charge electronics and monitor the news.

“Do not try to cross flooded roads or alleys,” the agency said. “Turn around, don’t drown.”

The Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative said it could take several days to restore electricity and broadband service to the area.

The utility said its office in Humphreys County was flooded and could be “a total loss”, and trucks and equipment were damaged. Most of the workers were unable to make it to the office due to flooded roads, the cooperative said.

“The safety and well-being of our communities, our employees and the rescue efforts are top priorities right now,” said Keith Carnahan, president and CEO of the co-op, in a statement. declaration. “These are devastating working conditions, but our employees and their serving hearts intensify for the long days ahead as our hometowns begin to heal.”

Waverly Elementary School in Waverly, Tenn., The county seat of Humphreys, was “completely inundated”, with water “4 feet deep throughout the school”, according to his Facebook page.

Two women had been stranded in the school gymnasium with some members of their family, a message read. A later post said they were “no longer in school and on dry ground.”

“Please continue to pray for our community! ” he read.


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