At least 22 people died and over a dozen are still missing following record-breaking rains that delivered surging floods in Middle Tennessee, local authorities said Monday.
“Things are moving fast and we are finding people left and right,” Edwards wrote in an email to The New York Times, adding that he expects the death count to increase.
“I would expect, given the number of fatalities, that we’re going to see mostly recovery efforts at this point rather than rescue efforts,” Tennessee Emergency Management Director Patrick Sheehan said, according to the AP.
Submerged cars, debris in the streets and damaged stores pictured after record rainfall caused flooding in middle Tennessee, resulting in at least 21 deaths as homes and rural roads were washed away. https://t.co/yriioTWQKc pic.twitter.com/PEM8eEjW1S
— ABC News (@ABC) August 23, 2021
The region witnessed 17 inches of rainfall on Saturday, breaking the all-time 24-hour record for the state.
The previous record was 13.6 inches on September 12, 1982, according to the National Weather Service in Nashville.
PRELIMINARY: the 17.02″ of rain measured at McEwen, TN today likely broke the all-time 24 hour rainfall record for the state of #Tennessee – which was 13.60″ in Milan set on September 13, 1982. Data will have to be QC’ed before the new record can be confirmed! #tnwx
— NWS Nashville (@NWSNashville) August 22, 2021
There are still roughly 20 people missing.
The area also experienced widespread power outages, local authorities said.
“Complicating issues is the loss of all cell phone coverage from the major carriers,” Edwards said.
“They are bringing in portable units to assist with communications.”
“We have lost a lot of roads both rural and major highways,” he added.
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