Seventeen inches of rain fell in a day in one Tennessee town.
— Some residents were reportedly trapped in their homes with water up to their necks.
— Dozens of people are missing.
At least 14 people were dead and dozens more remained missing Sunday after record-shattering downpours triggered flooding across parts of rural Tennessee and North Carolina.
In McEwen, Tennessee, 60 miles west of Nashville, 17 inches of rain fell in less than 24 hours. The neighboring Humphreys County town of Waverly saw about 15 inches.
Cindy and Jimmy Dunn fled to their attic Saturday after water rose six feet high in their Waverly home. They were rescued several hours later when a crew driving a bulldozer raised a bucket to their window.
“My husband said one minute he was (watching TV news) and the next minute we had no garage,” Cindy Dunn, 48, said.
National Weather Service meteorologist Krissy Hurley said the area had received “about 20%-25% of the yearly rainfall total that this area sees in a year” in a single morning Saturday. She said she heard reports of Humphreys County residents trapped in homes with water up to their necks.
Waverly business owner Kansas Klein watched from a bridge Saturday morning as homes and cars were swept down a road. Two girls who were holding on to a puppy and clinging to a wooden board swept past, far too fast for Klein and other onlookers to pull to safety.
Hours later the floodwaters were gone, but the destruction was overwhelming, Klein said.
“It was amazing how quick it came and how quick it left,” Klein said. “I’m thinking how horrible it was that I lost my restaurant. And then I walk around the corner and see someone’s baby dead — my restaurant doesn’t mean a whole lot right now.”
An estimated 40 people are missing in Humphreys County alone. About 8 to 15 inches of rain fell across Houston, Humphreys, Dickson and Hickman counties, according to the National Weather Service.
In Haywood County, North Carolina, the death toll rose to four from flooding wrought by Tropical Storm Fred last week after two bodies were recovered Saturday. Heavy equipment teams were moving into the area to clear out debris, authorities said.
“We have homes that are completely destroyed and off their foundations,” Sheriff Greg Christopher said. “Mobile homes that were moved, and mobile home parks that I would call completely destroyed.”
Contributing: Brinley Hineman and Chris Gadd, Nashville Tennessean; The Associated Press
(c)2021 USA Today
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.