Devastating scenes of ruin with at least 21 dead, dozens missing in Tennessee flooding

NASHVILLE (Tenn.) At least 21 people died and many others were still missing Sunday following record-breaking downpours that caused flooding in parts of the state.
Chris Davis, Humphreys County Sheriff, confirmed the death toll. He also said that 25-30 people were still missing. According to relatives, twin toddlers were among those who died after being swept away from their father's arms.

Grey Collier, Public Information Officer, stated that hundreds of homes might be uninhabitable. Families are uncertain if their loved ones survived the flooding that destroyed roads, telephone towers, and phone lines.

Meteorologists stated that the hardest-hit areas received twice the rainfall as the area in Middle Tennessee during the worst-case scenario of flooding.

Kansas Klein, a Waverly businessman, told The Associated Press that Brookside, a Brookside housing area, suffered the greatest flood damage.

Klein stated that the destruction was catastrophic: Half of all buildings were destroyed and half were damaged. People began to pull out the bodies of those who drowned but couldn't make it out.

Gov. Bill Lee and U.S. Senators. Marsha Blackburn, Bill Hagerty and U.S. Sens. arrived by helicopter in the county around 12:45 Sunday to assess the damage.

Lee said, "Goodness gracious," as he rode in a car and saw houses being taken off their foundations to be moved into the yards of neighbors.

McEwen, Tennessee 60 miles west from Nashville saw a record 17 inches of rain fall in 24 hours. Waverly, a neighboring Humphreys County community, received about 15 inches of rain. This transformed the creeks behind homes and into raging rapids.

After water rose six feet in their Waverly house, Cindy and Jimmy Dunn ran to their attic. A crew operating a bulldozer brought a bucket to their window and they were saved several hours later.

My husband claimed that he was watching TV news, but the next thing he knew, he had no garage. Cindy Dunn, 48, stated, "My husband said that a minute later... and then the next moment..."

Krissy Hurley, National Weather Service meteorologist, stated that the area received between 20% and 25% of the annual rainfall total in one morning Saturday. Hurley stated that she has heard of residents in Humphreys County trapped inside their homes, with water up to the necks.

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Multiple people dead, dozens missing amid 'catastrophic' flooding in Tennessee, North Carolina

Klein watched as cars and homes were washed down the road from a bridge on Saturday morning. Klein and other observers were too distracted by two girls holding onto a puppy and holding onto a wooden board as they were swept past.

Klein stated that the floodwaters receded hours later but that the extent of the damage was still immense.

Klein stated that it was incredible how fast it arrived and how quickly it went. It was so horrible that my restaurant was destroyed. Then I turn around and see a dead baby. Right now, my restaurant isn't very important to me.

"Never seen anything so devastating": Fred floods North Carolina County, leaving at least 2 dead and 17 others missing.

According to the National Weather Service, Houston, Dickson, Dickson, and Hickman counties received 8 to 15 inches of rain.

After two bodies were found Saturday, flooding caused by Tropical Storm Fred in Haywood County, North Carolina led to the deaths of four people. Authorities said that heavy equipment teams were deployed to clean up the debris.

There are mobile homes that have been moved, homes that have been completely demolished and taken off their foundations, and homes that have been completely destroyed. Sheriff Greg Christopher stated that there were also mobile home parks that had been completely destroyed.

Contributing: Brinley Hieman, Cassandra Stephenson and Yue Stella Yu, Nashville Tennessean; The Associated Press

This article first appeared on USA TODAY: Flooding in North Carolina and Tennessee after record-breaking rains