(Washington) “Catastrophic” floods in Tennessee killed at least 16 people, authorities in that South American state reported on Sunday, and dozens of people were searched, according to multiple local media outlets.
Posted on Aug 22, 2021 at 3:56 pm Updated at 5:47 pm
Tennessee was hit Saturday by rains dubbed “historic” by local weather services, resulting in fatal flooding.
“The Tennessee Department of Health has confirmed 16 victims related to weather events in Humphreys County,” the state emergency management agency said, warning that it is a temporary assessment that may change.
This county is about an hour and a half west of Nashville by car.
“This area of central Tennessee fell between eight and seven inches of rain for 6 hours on Saturday morning,” and the bad weather lasted into the night, the agency added, calling the floods “catastrophic.”
Three other counties were also affected. Clean-up work is in progress and “many bridges and roads in the affected area remain closed,” the statement said.
The governor of Tennessee visited the site on Sunday afternoon, the agency said.
Dozens of people are still wanted, according to local newspaper The Tennessean, which reported a death toll of 21.
“It was almost as fast as a tornado. Someone described it as a tidal wave, ”the mayor of Waverly, Humphreys County, told local television station WKRN.
Pictures showed overturned cars and muddy streets.
At a press conference on Sunday, US President Joe Biden expressed “deep condolences” and indicated that the government was “ready to offer assistance”.
“Our prayers are with all of the residents of Tennessee affected by yesterday’s historic floods,” tweeted Mark Green in the State House of Representatives on Sunday morning.