Update (1804ET): At least 22 people were killed and 50 others unaccounted for on Sunday afternoon after torrential rains triggered flash floods that swept through two small towns in Middle Tennessee.
Humphreys County Emergency Management Agency said the death toll has now reached 22, and 51 people are missing.
TRIGGER WARNING ⚠️— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) August 22, 2021
This seems to be an image of Loretta Lynn’s Ranch foreman Wayne Spears hanging on for survival in the Humphreys County flooding that killed 22 with 30 more missing.
He did not survive. The structure washed away before he could be saved. (h/t @LiquidWench)💔 pic.twitter.com/PYfL8okgoU
Search and rescue operations have been ongoing since the flash floods swept through Waverly and McEwen on Saturday.
"Things are moving fast and we are finding people left and right," Rob Edwards, the chief deputy of the Humphreys County Sheriff's, told the NYTimes in an emailed response. He warned the death toll is expected to increase.
Mayor Buddy Frazier of Waverly told local news WKRN that the damage across his town was "staggering." He said homes and businesses were swept off their foundations by the floodwaters.
Edwards said search and rescue operations had been hampered by widespread loss of power, cellphone service, and damage to certain infrastructures, such as roads and bridges.
"We have lost a lot of roads, both rural and major highways," he said. "In my 28 years, it's the worst I've ever seen it."
The National Weather Service in Nashville said this was the deadliest flood event in Middle Tennessee history.
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With everyone fixated on the tropical system that is about to smash Long Island or southern New England, another weather event crushed two small towns in Middle Tennessee has left at least ten people dead and dozens missing, according to The Tennessean.
Catastrophic flooding struck the small towns of Waverly and McEwen Saturday, where as much as 17 inches of rain fell over a 24-hour period.
Humphreys County Sheriff Chris Davis reports ten dead and 40 missing after the flash floods. Sheriffs and other first responders are conducting door-to-door searches.
The Hardin County Fire Department, which is now supporting Humphreys County rescue operations called the destruction nothing short of "unbelievable."
Social media shows posts show destruction is everywhere. The flash flooding wiped homes and businesses off their foundations, submerged vehicles, and left millions of dollars in damage. Infrastructure was also damaged, such as roads and bridges were washed away.
The Tennessee National Guard was deployed to Humphreys County to assist residents after 15 inches of rain the area on Saturday, killing 10 people & leaving 31 missing.— ∼Marietta (@ThisIsMarietta) August 22, 2021
Prayers for all the families here in my home State. 🙏🏼 #Tennessee #Flood #flashflood pic.twitter.com/tT20eeP89C
Are you or your loved ones needing shelter after the floods in Hickman, Humphreys, and Dickson counties? See where you can receive relief items and comfort --> https://t.co/gOp2hifGdC pic.twitter.com/ADt4GxElt4— WSMV News4 Nashville (@WSMV) August 22, 2021
TUNE IN AT 8 A.M.: Catastrophic flooding in Humphreys County leaves 10 dead and 31 missing. Now, search efforts are underway, and News 4 is with a family as they look for loved ones. https://t.co/l49Mli92Fp pic.twitter.com/kUlx0GIAp5— WSMV News4 Nashville (@WSMV) August 22, 2021
According to local authorities, catastrophic flooding in middle #Tennessee left at least ten people dead and dozens missing on Saturday as record-shattering rainfall washed away homes and rural roads. pic.twitter.com/fxuswtEutt— ANews (@anews) August 22, 2021
The Red Cross has arrived in the devastated county and is erecting emergency shelters on Sunday morning.
“Our volunteers and staff will begin the response of surveying the area Sunday morning and will begin to assess the needs of each community we are serving following these storms,” said Joel Sullivan, regional executive director for Red Cross of Tennessee. “We are working with our local partners and government officials to ensure that recovery services are provided to begin helping the residents get back on their feet as quickly as we can.”