NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — Flooding caused by this week’s storms have left one dead and one missing in Tennessee, and the Weather Service says more heavy rain is on the way.
Tennessee declared a State of Emergency yesterday afternoon following widespread reports of damage due to flooding and high winds.
The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency says 72-year-old Gerald Ralph Barr of Lawrenceburg died yesterday morning when he tried to cross a flooded road and his car was swept downstream. Rescue crews resumed a search this morning for a Hickman County child swept away yesterday afternoon by flood waters.
Jeremy Heidt with Tennessee EMA says stay off those flooded roads.
“It only takes a few inches of water to sweep a car off the road. Swift water can knock a person over with just a few inches of water and then you’re swept downstream and it’s very difficult to get out of that.”
Tennessee declared a state of emergency in anticipation of potential severe weather and flooding in the next few days. The declaration activates the governor's emergency powers and starts up the State Emergency Operations Center.
Flooding has been reported in Carroll, Dyer, Lawrence, and Weakley counties. Power outages have been reported in Shelby, Henderson, Madison, Dyer, Henry, and Tipton Counties.
Tennessee Emergency Management is concerned that additional rain could make the situation much worse. Meteorologist Angie Lese with the Nashville Weather Service office says that’s a real possibility.
“We’ve got really good moisture feed coming up out of the Gulf and we’ve got a boundary that’s laid over the area and it’s not going to move hardly at all for the next several days and we’re just going to get wave after wave of these convective complexes – large areas of showers and thunderstorms -- that produce significant amounts of rainfall in a short period of time. Unfortunately it’s going to go over areas that have already received ample rainfall.”
All of the mid-state counties west and southwest of Nashville remain under flash flood watches with some under flash flood warnings.