WAVERLY, Tennessee (WKRN) – Heavy rains and storms hit the counties of Dickson, Hickman, Houston and Humphreys in Middle Tennessee on Saturday.
The Humphreys County’s death toll has now reached 22, according to Humphrey County Sheriff Chris Davis.
Nashville National Weather Service warning coordinator Krissy Hurley confirmed with News 2 that Saturday is now the deadliest flood event in average Tennessee history.
In addition to the deaths, the EMA reports that 51 people are currently missing in the county.
One of the most affected regions was the town of Waverly in the county of Humphreys. Mayor Buddy Frazier said most of the people he spoke to felt totally caught off guard by the precipitation. âIt was something like the speed of a tornado, I guess. Someone described it as a tidal wave.
A boil water alert is currently in place for Waverly as its water treatment facility remains offline. Humphreys County schools will be closed for the remainder of the week with reports of around 40 to 50 school buses damaged by flood water.
Waverly officials also published a partial list of missing persons in the region.
Tennessee Governor Bill Lee visited the affected area on Sunday afternoon. Lee was joined by U.S. Senators from Tennessee Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty, Adjutant General of Tennessee, Major General Jeff Holmes, Director of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency Patrick Sheehan and Commissioner Clay Bright of the Tennessee Department of Transportation.
At a press briefing on Sunday afternoon, Lee said details of the impact of the flooding were still pending. âThere is still a lot to know about the end results. But what we do know is that it is incredibly difficult, and our hearts and our prayers must be for these communities, for these people in this community, many of them who have suffered not only the loss of their homes. and their property, but the loss of family and friends.
Total precipitation ranged from 9 to 17 inches over a 6-hour period on Saturday morning and another round of severe weather affected the same area on Saturday evening.
Several bridges and roads in the affected area remain closed. Telecommunications and electricity services are gradually being restored. Local and state staff continue to work with flood survivors on reunification.
A State of emergency level 3 is currently active in Tennessee.
Sunday afternoon, President Biden tweeted his support for Tennessee after deadly floods, âI send my deepest condolences for the sudden and tragic loss of life due to the flash floods in Tennessee. We have reached out to the community and will offer all the help they need at this terrible time, âBiden wrote.
Lee spoke of the president expressing interest in helping. âWe will prepare a request for a declaration of emergency federal emergency assistance. So these talks are taking place right now and this request for assistance will occur. “
The governor added that these initial assessments will be carried out in the coming days.
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