Areas just west of the Tennessee capital of Nashville were struck with catastrophic flooding over the weekend, and 22 people have lost their lives to the floodwaters while as many as 50 people are still missing as of Monday afternoon.
Newborn twins were ripped from their father’s arms as he attempted to make his way with them through the rampaging floodwaters on Saturday.
Grey Collier, a spokesman from the Humphreys County Emergency Management Agency, told CNN that the 7-month-old twins were carried out of their father’s arms by the storm.
“The mother grabbed a tree and the father had the two twins, the 5-year-old and 19-month old, and sadly the two babies left his arms!” Charity Hooks wrote on a GoFundMe page for the affected family. Hooks wrote in the post that she is the cousin of the twins’ mother.
Heavy rain began hitting the area on Friday, with an unbroken line of storms continuing for several days. Seventeen inches (43.18 cm) of rain fell over the course of 24 hours on Saturday, according to weather.com; if this is confirmed, it will break meteorological records for the amount of precipitation over any one-day period.
Tennessee Emergency Management Director Patrick Sheehan said in an interview with the Associated Press “I would expect, given the number of fatalities, that we’re going to see mostly recovery efforts at this point rather than rescue efforts.”
Officials are also trying to pare down the list of dozens of people who remained unaccounted for as of Monday afternoon. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that cell phone towers are also down because of the storm, hindering telecommunications with flood victims.
Waverly, Tennessee hit hardest by the flooding
The worst of the flooding was in the town of Waverly, Tennessee, where 20 of the 22 deaths occurred. Waverly, located in Humphreys County, has a population of only 4,100. 2,000 homes in Humphreys are currently without power.
A local news website has a running list of some of those who were or are still missing, including photos and details, making sure all the information is out there for potential rescuers. The victims range in age from toddlers to adults of all ages.
Meanwhile, tropical storm Henri continues to stall out over the Northeastern states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, with already soaked regions expecting to get 1-3 inches more rainfall over the next several hours.
Flash flood watches have been posted from Pennsylvania to New Hampshire and there are widespread power outages in the Northeast.
Dangerous, life-threatening flash flooding continues across western Middle Tennessee this morning.
A compilation of photos, videos, and other reports from Twitter can be found here:https://t.co/OmniyJZQ8n
— NWS Nashville (@NWSNashville) August 21, 2021
— ABC News (@ABC) August 22, 2021