At least 21 people were dead and 45 were missing after heavy rain and torrential flooding overwhelmed parts of Tennessee, damaging homes, toppling trees and upending cars in its wake.
Severe flooding in Middle Tennessee has led the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) to declare a Level 3 State of Emergency in the state. The State Emergency Operations Center has been activated in Nashville, as well, to support locals affected by the catastrophic flooding.
Humphreys County Sheriff Chris Davis told The Tennessean. As of Saturday night, 31 people were still missing, Davis noted. And a curfew of 8 p.m. has been enacted for Humphreys County.
In a Flash Report, issued Sunday (Aug. 22) morning, TEMA reported that the catastrophic flash flooding that took place on Saturday — due to heavy rains and storms — severely impacted Dickson, Hickman, Houston, and Humphreys counties, and the city of Waverly.
Between 9 inches to 17 inches of rain fell across middle Tennessee within a six-hour time frame Saturday morning. Then, another round of severe weather impacted the same area Saturday night. More than 10,000 people in the area remain without power, TEMA said and search and rescue teams performed more than 20 rescues and evacuations yesterday.
“Clearing skies today will allow search and rescue operations in the impacted counties to continue as local and state officials also focus on meeting the needs of survivors and first responders,” the Flash Report reads.
Several groups including the Tennessee National Guard, Tennessee Department of Transportation, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Tennessee Department of Education, Tennessee Department of Health, Tennessee Department of Human Needs, and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, are actively lending aid.
The Tennessee National Guard said it sent a Blackhawk helicopter, along with tactical vehicles and Humvees, to Central Tennessee and plans to deploy nearly 50 soldiers to respond to the severe flooding. In a tweet, Major General Jeff Holmes said, “Our first priority is to assist with getting responders access to the area and conduct rescue operations.”
Several churches have turned into shelters to assist residents who have been affected by the flooding plus the Tennessee Health Department is sending crisis counseling teams to help survivors and first responders.
The flooding situation in Middle TN is dangerous and evolving. Please avoid travel in Humphreys, Houston, Dickson & Hickman counties.
We are working with local officials and first responders to provide resources and support.
— T_E_M_A (@T_E_M_A) August 21, 2021
If your area is experiencing flash flooding, act now:
? Listen to local officials
?Check in with neighbors & family
? Never drive through a flooded road
? Turn Around, Don't Drown#FloodSafety https://t.co/zQ8D7IwGXx
— T_E_M_A (@T_E_M_A) August 21, 2021
“Our first priority is to assist with getting responders access to the area and conduct rescue operations,” said Maj. Gen. Jeff Holmes, Tennessee Adjutant General.
— Tenn. National Guard (@TNMilitaryDept) August 21, 2021
MAJOR (Historic) flash flooding this morning across Houston, Humphreys, Dickson & Hickman Counties in Tennessee. This is the view from Waverly, Tennessee where an estimated 8-12"+ of rain has fallen.
— Live Storm Chasers (@Livestormchaser) August 21, 2021
Dangerous, life-threatening flash flooding continues across western Middle Tennessee this morning.
A compilation of photos, videos, and other reports from Twitter can be found here:https://t.co/OmniyJZQ8n
— NWS Nashville (@NWSNashville) August 21, 2021
— ABC News (@ABC) August 22, 2021
Send our deepest condolences for the sudden and tragic loss of life due to flash flooding in Tennessee