Michael Cardinal, FISM News
At least 22 people have been killed in historic floods that ravaged the central portion of Tennessee on Sunday. In addition to those who lost their lives, dozens of people are still missing and at least 60 people have been injured in what is now the deadliest flood in Middle Tennessee history.
A total of 17 inches was recorded in the small town of McEwen, breaking the all-time record for rainfall in a 24-hour period by 4 inches. The counties of Dickson, Hickman, Houston, and Humphreys were the most affected by the heavy downpours which flipped cars, damaged bridges, and destroyed homes.
— AccuWeather (@accuweather) August 23, 2021
The town of Waverly was at the epicenter of the tragedy. Citizens in the town are now being told to boil water as the water treatment plant has been overrun and school has also been cancelled for at least a week due to a large number of the town’s busses being destroyed. Waverly mayor, Buddy Frazier, said “It was something like the quickness of a tornado I guess. Someone described it as a tidal wave.”
While people were expecting heavy rains, no one expected the deluge that came. The Tennessean reported several heartbreaking stories of the people who were caught off guard by the floods, including one woman who saved her toddler by placing her on top of the kitchen cabinets as the water had risen to 6 feet inside of her home.
Tennessee Governor Bill Lee toured the area ravaged by the natural disaster with several other Tennessee legislators on Sunday. He called the situation a “devastating picture of loss and heartache,” and said that his “thoughts and prayers” go out to those who have lost family members and homes.
WATCH LIVE: Gov. Bill Lee, Sen. Bill Hagerty and Marsha Blackburn as well as other emergency officials are giving an update on the deadly flooding in Humphreys County. Complete Coverage: https://t.co/zlnoB7Ds40 https://t.co/NrRUimA1fx
— WSMV News4 Nashville (@WSMV) August 22, 2021
At the beginning of his press conference on Sunday, President Biden said he had one of his officials reach out to Governor Lee and said that the federal government will provide any assistance that is needed.
I send my deepest condolences for the sudden and tragic loss of life due to flash flooding in Tennessee. We’ve reached out to the community and will offer any assistance they need in this terrible moment.
— President Biden (@POTUS) August 22, 2021
Those who want to donate to help those who have been affected by the tragedy can do so through the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.