A flash flood in middle Tennessee following record rainfall triggered a flash flood that has killed at least eight people and more than 30 people have gone missing.
The rainfall smashed records in the Humphreys County town of McEwen, located about 50 miles west of Nashville. The region was showered with more than 17 inches (43 centimeters) of rainfall in less than a day.
The previous record of 24-hour rainfall in the region was 9.54 centimeters in 2010.
McEwen and the nearby city of Waverly were facing a “dire, catastrophic situation," National Weather Service meteorologist Krissy Hurley told The Tennessean. “People are trapped in their homes and have no way to get out."
Tennessee Governor Bill Lee tweeted on Saturday, “Tennesseans, please stay cautious of rising floodwaters caused by heavy rainfall in parts of Middle TN. We are actively working with emergency response officials & first responders as they support Tennesseans in flooded areas.”
The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency activated its emergency operations center and said agencies that include the Tennessee National Guard, the state Highway Patrol, and Fire Mutual Aid were responding to the flooding.
In a bulletin, TEMA called the situation “dangerous and evolving” and urged people to avoid travel in the affected counties.
Flash flood warnings were in effect for parts of Lewis, Marshall, and Maury counties on Saturday night.