The search continued Tuesday for missing Tennesseans in Humphreys County after catastrophic flooding in the region took the lives of at least 22 people. 

In a Tuesday interview with NPR, Humphreys County Sheriff Chris Davis said that the flooding was even more destructive than initially believed, with around 120 homes destroyed or “gone.” 

TENNESSEE FLOODING: HEARTBREAKING SEARCH FOR MISSING ADULTS, CHILDREN CONTINUES WITH AT LEAST 22 DEAD

“Our damage is much more massive than what we thought,” he said.

Davis previously told reporters he had lost one of his best friends in the unprecedented deluge.

Cars are stacked on top of each other on the banks of Blue Creek being swept up in flood water, Monday, Aug. 23, 2021, in Waverly, Tenn. Heavy rains caused flooding in Middle Tennessee days ago and have resulted in multiple deaths as homes and rural roads were washed away. 

Cars are stacked on top of each other on the banks of Blue Creek being swept up in flood water, Monday, Aug. 23, 2021, in Waverly, Tenn. Heavy rains caused flooding in Middle Tennessee days ago and have resulted in multiple deaths as homes and rural roads were washed away. (AP Photo/John Amis)

According to The Tennessean, while Humphreys County Emergency Management spokesperson Grey Collier said that officials are close to finalizing the death toll from the floods, she did not say how many were missing as of Tuesday. 

Residents of the area commented on a Monday night Facebook post with a fluctuating list of fewer than 10 missing people from the county city of Waverly’s Department of Public Safety, reporting some people as having been located. 

Others were not so lucky, sharing stories of the people – including children – that were lost in the disaster as floodwaters surged. 

Fox 17 Nashville reported on the heartbreaking deaths of 7-month-old twins Ryan and Riliegh, who were swept out of their father’s arms as he desperately tried to hold on to them.

The station also reported that 7-year-old Lucy Lane Connor had been killed in the floods. 

Two-year-old Kellen Cole Burrow is also still missing.

“I couldn’t get back to him, but [his mother] managed to save our other four children,” Kellen’s father Kalaub McCord told Fox 17 last weekend. “If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have any children right now.”

Brian Mitchell, right, looks through the damaged home of his mother-in-law along with family friend Chris Hoover, left, Sunday, Aug. 22, 2021, in Waverly, Tenn. Heavy rains caused flooding Saturday in Middle Tennessee and have resulted in multiple deaths as homes and rural roads were washed away. 

Brian Mitchell, right, looks through the damaged home of his mother-in-law along with family friend Chris Hoover, left, Sunday, Aug. 22, 2021, in Waverly, Tenn. Heavy rains caused flooding Saturday in Middle Tennessee and have resulted in multiple deaths as homes and rural roads were washed away. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Fox 19 reported on Tuesday that a Tennessee mother, Linda Almond, had drowned after she livestreamed the flooding on Facebook. 

“Well, if anybody’s seeing me on Facebook Live, we’re being flooded right now in Waverly, Tennessee. Really scary,” Almond can be heard saying in the just over one-minute-long video.

While family members told WKRN that she and her son were able to get on their roof, both were swept away after the roof collapsed. Her son survived. 

“At this time, we are communicating with families and working with agencies regarding victims and missing persons,” Davis said in the Facebook post. People who know that people are safe are instructed to call the 911 Center at (931) 296-7792, contact (931) 582-6950 or go to Mcewen High School and report to the gymnasium. 

A woman looks at debris washed up against a bridge over a stream Sunday, Aug. 22, 2021, in Waverly, Tenn. Heavy rains caused flooding Saturday in Middle Tennessee and have resulted in multiple deaths as homes and rural roads were washed away.

A woman looks at debris washed up against a bridge over a stream Sunday, Aug. 22, 2021, in Waverly, Tenn. Heavy rains caused flooding Saturday in Middle Tennessee and have resulted in multiple deaths as homes and rural roads were washed away. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Pictures and video of the area showed scattered debris, decimated structures, took out cellphone towers and obstructed roadways and bridges. 

School was canceled for the week and thousands of homes were still without power on Monday night, according to utility officials.

Emergency workers were searching door to door, Kristi Brown, coordinated health and safety supervisor with Humphreys County Schools, said Tuesday.

The sheriff’s office posted pictures of day three of rescue efforts, writing to thank partners who had come to the county’s aid. 

The cause of the flooding was historic rainfall that more than tripled forecasts and toppled the state record of one-day rainfall.

Up to 17 inches fell on the 18,000-person county in less than 24 hours on Saturday – beating the state record by more than 3 inches, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). 

That said, Saturday’s numbers still have to be confirmed. 

Gov. Bill Lee, right, greets officials upon arriving in Waverly, Tenn., Sunday, Aug. 22, 2021, to inspect flood damage in the area. (Alan Poizner/The Tennessean via AP, Pool)

Gov. Bill Lee, right, greets officials upon arriving in Waverly, Tenn., Sunday, Aug. 22, 2021, to inspect flood damage in the area. (Alan Poizner/The Tennessean via AP, Pool) (Alan Poizner/The Tennessean via AP, Pool)

In a Tuesday statement, the White House wrote that President Joe Biden approved a disaster declaration for the state on Wednesday, freeing up federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts. 

Republican Gov. Bill Lee, who toured the impacted area, called it a “devastating picture of loss and heartache.” 

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He advised that those who want to help reach out to the Red Cross, the Salvation Army and non-profits serving those affected.

The Waverly Department of Public Safety advised that any individual who wants to volunteer to assist in clean-up and recovery call (931) 888-8011 or (931) 888-8012.

Source Link:
https://www.foxnews.com/us/tennessee-officials-say-damage-from-floods-worse-than-previously-thought-as-biden-approves-disaster-declaration

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