Skip to comments.Officials: At least 5 dead in Tennessee flooding
Posted on 05/02/2010 4:00:14 AM PDT by Tennessee Nana
MEMPHIS, At least five people died and hundreds were being evacuated Saturday as heavy rains pounded Tennessee, causing widespread flooding across the state.
The forecast called for more rain through the weekend.
The five deaths were storm related, but the exact causes were not yet known, Jeremy Heidt, spokesman for the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, said Saturday evening.
Hundreds of homes had been evacuated and shelters were being opened across the state for people stranded due to flooded roads. Heidt said crews were called out for swift-water rescues from Nashville to Memphis.
Its so widespread, its a very serious concern, he said. The deaths were in reported in Stewart, Davidson, Williamson and Carroll counties, he said.
The southwestern part of the state was extremely hard hit, with several Memphis-area streets declared impassable. Memphis received 10 inches or more of rain during the day and officials were warning that 4 to 8 more inches could fall overnight and into Sunday.
Corey Chaskelson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said a levee had been breached along the Big Creek River in Millington. He said 4 to 5 feet of water had flooded 200-300 homes at the Naval Support Activity base in Millington.
Water rescue of people from their homes is still ongoing, he said Saturday evening.
Emergency officials in Shelby County said hundreds of people were being evacuated due to high water, including residents of the Navy base and inmates at a federal prison.
Bob Nations, director of the Shelby County Office of Preparedness, said most of the roads into and out of Millington had been cut off by flooding.
Our weather forecast says we could get 4 to 8 inches tonight, he said Saturday evening.
At the Baker Community Center in Millington, where a Red Cross shelter has been set up, retiree Joe Curry, 74, said he and his wife were rescued from their home in a boat Saturday morning after the water had risen to 7 feet.
It rose so fast we couldnt get out, said Curry, who spent the day at the Red Cross shelter until family members could pick him up. Its a mess.
Jerry Fritts of the Red Cross said about 100 people were expected to spend the night at the Millington shelter. So many roads are blocked that some people have waited all day for their family to come get them, Fritts said.
Waters were washing away parts of roads and bridges in the Jackson area, said Marty Clements, director of the Jackson-Madison County Emergency Management Agency.
Weve basically become an island because the major highways and roads are cut off, he said Saturday evening. We cant get in or out.
Clements said there have been gas leaks and water main breaks due to the flooding and both area hospitals were running on generators temporarily during the day.
He said emergency officials have asked all events be canceled on Sunday, even church services, to keep people from trying to venture out in the floodwaters.
Charles Shannon, a spokesman for the Nashville Fire Department, said one person drowned in flood waters on Interstate 24 south of Nashville.
In Nashville, emergency responders had rescued 50 people from flooding, Mayor Karl Dean said at a news conference Saturday night. Police Chief Ronal Serpas said two police officers had to be rescued from a tree.
It is only going to get worse as the night goes on, Dean said.
A group of Shelby County firefighters on a rescue call ended up having to be rescued after their truck flipped on its side after being swept up in flood waters, Shelby County Fire Department spokesman Brent Perkins told WMC-TV.
Segments of Interstate 40 were closed between Nashville and Memphis. Pooling water in the median and along the sides of the highway gave some sections the appearance of a causeway.
The National Weather Service said up to 12 inches of rain had fallen along areas of Interstate 40 since midnight and up to 6 more inches was expected through Sunday.
AP Writer Kristin Hall in Nashville contributed to this story.
Prayers being said for all of those affected by this weather and flooding. Prayers especially for the loved ones of those who have lost their lives. Prayers also for the brave medical, police and fire personnel who are trying to help those in harm’s way by putting themselves in harm’s way...
I’m tired of this rain, how about you?
The Nashville area received one of the highest total daily rainfall amounts in its history. I-24 at Bell Road (Hickory Hollow Mall area) was actually flooded over, despite the fact that the interstate goes over the surface road, not the other way around. One death occurred there, as people were simply trapped before they realized what was happening.
Lots of areas had flooding that had not had such events since the 1970’s. Many churches in the greater Nashville area called off services today.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation has done a very good job informing people of the Interstate conditions, and we have many cameras available on-line. It’s just a tough situation.
I got caught in this mess myself. I had abandoned my vehicle and I was going to wade through the water to get where I needed to go. Then we spotted a guy doing the same thing we were going to do and we watched him to see how difficult it would be. He was over half way across a very wide flood area when he was swept away, one of the five dead so far. We turned back and took shelter at a nearby hotel. We made it home this morning, just in time as the rains are starting up again. We’re safe now. Prayers to all those affected by this flood.
Happy to hear you are safe. Rushing waters don’t have to be deep to knock you off your feet and sweep you away, you made the right choice.
rain fall totals at Franklin,Tenn.
Catastrophic flooding in Nashville - historic
So glad you are safe!Hubby talked to his cousin’s in New Johnsonville and Waverly,they were getting ready to leave their homes.
We live near the small town of Waverly, TN (about 70 miles West of Nashville).
Downtown Waverly was practically impassable last night, you could only enter/leave from South of the city. Our church is in a ‘100-year flood plane’ and, you guessed it, was flooded. At the peak yesterday, the water was as high as the doorknobs on the first floor.
Church services there have been cancelled for today.
As I type, it’s still raining here... not heavy but steady.
This has been a “perfect storm” in that the front is slow-moving, and instead of moving mostly perpendicular to its line, it is mainly moving in the direction of its line, pulling one storm cell after another over the same area like a freight train and dumping inch after inch of rain with little or no letup. More is predicted today similar to yesterday, continuing until this evening. Nashville and its southern suburbs are very heavily hit, and some of the roads and bridges are being undermined. This could take a long time to repair.
So glad to hear you are safe. We are just a little south of Nashville on the TN-AL state line area and slightly east of I-65 by about 10 miles. Y’all definitely got the worst of it, we had a little rain, thunder & lightening. Take Care.
Metro Nashville emergency responders have rescued over 150 people as of early this morning. The local electric service is attempting a rescue that is being broadcast live on a local station.
Lots of water. I am at the Stones River in Rutherford County in the mid-state and it would be advisable for all Tennesseans to know which creeks drain off of this. It is the culprit behind the I-24 closure at Bell.
Lived in mid-tn all my life,I`ve never seen anything like this since back in VN when we had 16” in one night.
Listening to the scanner,non-stop action with emergency rescue stretched to the limit.They`re filling sandbags in Gallatin right now
“This is some serious weather... “
I was talking to my Aunt that lives in Nashville last night and she was pretty worried. She said she had never seen it like this. I reminded her of the flood of 72’ where the Cumberland river overflowed it’s banks.
Major Flood Stage for the Cumberland is 55’. It is expected to reach 54.5’.
This is WKRN’s live feed. You may need to copy/paste it into VLC to watch.