At Least Four People Dead, 130 Rescued as Nashville Sees Near-Record Rainfall and Worst Flooding in Over 10 Years

A car that was carried by floodwaters leans against a tree in a creek in Nashville, Tenn., on Sunday. Heavy rainfall flooded roads, submerged vehicles and left many people in need of rescue. Mark Humphrey/AP

Authorities in Nashville, Tenn., said four people were killed and 130 rescued after near-record levels of rainfall caused significant flooding across the region.

The Nashville Office of Emergency Management said in a Sunday morning update that emergency responders were continuing to make rescues in the aftermath of the storm, which drenched the area in a total of 7 inches of rain.

“Even though it looks beautiful outside, we still want people to be cautious and stay aware, stay alert, stay alive,” Nashville Fire Department Director William Swann said at an early afternoon press conference.

The downpour had subsided in most of Middle Tennessee as of midday Sunday, according to the National Weather Service in Nashville. But parts of the region remain under a flash flood watch through the evening and officials are asking the public to stay vigilant as rising creeks and rivers pose a continuing flood risk.

“Continue to avoid flooded roadways and refrain from swimming or walking through flood waters,” the agency said in a Facebook post. “Not only could you be unexpectedly swept away, but that water could contain chemicals and sewage.”

Some 1,700 customers remain without power as of early Sunday afternoon, down from 4,600 earlier in the morning, Nashville Mayor John Cooper said. He added that first responders are still asking residents to avoid certain areas, and road closures and other conditions can be monitored on an emergency response website.

The Metro Nashville Police Department said they have found the remains of four people believed to have been killed in the floods. One man was recovered from a sedan submerged by water overflowing from a creek; a second man was found deceased on a golf course and is believed to have been “swept away by high waters after getting out of a car that ran off the road into a culvert.”

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SOURCE: NPR, Rachel Treisman