- An estimated 50 people were still unaccounted for.
- The floodwaters decimated some communities.
- The hardest hit areas were about 40 miles west of Nashville.
The death toll has risen to 22 in catastrophic flooding that ripped through portions of Middle Tennessee on Saturday.
Twelve additional deaths were reported by the sheriff in Humphreys County on Sunday, adding to the 10 confirmed Saturday night. The number of missing is now estimated at 50. The hardest-hit area is about 40 miles west of Nashville.
“From children to elderly is what our deceased is ranging from,” Sheriff Chris Davis told WSMV-TV.
Searchers continued to comb through the rubble Sunday. The state of Tennessee activated its Emergency Operations Center and, in an update Sunday morning, said improving weather would help rescuers expand their efforts.
At least 100 homes and 25 businesses had been searched as of 10 a.m. Sunday.
“It is a devastating picture of loss and heartbreak in one of our Tennessee communities,” Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said during a Sunday evening press conference.
Multiple bridges and roadways remained close in the area. More than 10,000 customers were without power and 89 people stayed in a shelter Saturday night.
The flooding from torrential rainfall trapped residents in their homes, closed highways and prompted multiple water rescues Saturday morning.
Photos showed widespread damage after the floodwaters receded.
People took to their roofs and attics to escape the floodwaters and await rescue. Homes were swept away and communities destroyed.
On Saturday, officials described dire circumstances in Humphreys County.
“People are trapped in their homes and have no way to get out. Water is up to their necks. It is catastrophic, the worst kind of situation,” Krissy Hurley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Nashville, told the Tennessean.
The Tennessee National Guard deployed soldiers and airmen to the area in response to the flooding. Three helicopter aquatic rescue teams from the state, as well as swift water rescue teams from Nashville, were also sent to assist.
Between 15 and 17 inches of rain was reported in 24 hours in areas around Dickson, Houston, Humphreys and Hickman counties.
Some of those amounts are equal to 25% of the normal rainfall for the entire year, according to the NWS.
The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.