The death toll has risen to 22 in catastrophic flooding in Middle Tennessee over the weekend. 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, with the hardest-hit area being 40 miles west of Nashville.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said during a Sunday evening press conference: “It is a devastating picture of loss and heartbreak in one of our Tennessee communities.” The state of Tennessee activated its Emergency Operations Center as searchers continued to look for survivors on Sunday. At least 100 homes and 25 businesses had been searched as of 10 a.m. Sunday, while multiple bridges and roadways remained close in the area. More than 10,000 customers were without power.
Between 15 and 17 inches of rain was reported in 24 hours in areas around Dickson, Houston, Humphreys and Hickman counties. The flooding from the torrential rainfall trapped residents in their homes, closed highways and prompted multiple water rescues, where people took to their roofs and attics to escape the floodwaters. Homes were swept away and communities destroyed. The Tennessee National Guard has also 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.