The Nashville Fire Department’s rapid water rescue teams had pulled at least 130 people out of vehicles and homes by Sunday morning, the Nashville Office of Emergency Management said.
Search and rescue workers found a deceased man in a flooded car near a Walmart store next to a creek, the Metro Nashville Police Department said on Twitter. There was later his age than 70. The weather service earlier reported that water seeped into a Walmart store in south Nashville and cars were parked in the parking lot in front of their windows. He was identified as 65-year-old Douglas Hammond, according to a tweet on the Twitter account verified by the Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD). Police characterized Hammond as an “apparent drowning victim” and said he lived near the golf course.
Police believe Hammond “was swept away by floods after getting out of his car that got stuck on Flintlock Ct,” near the Nashboro golf course, the MNPD said.
The bodies of a 64-year-old man and a 46-year-old woman were found near a homeless camp next to Wentworth-Caldwell Park on Sunday, police said.
At least 15 people were rescued from an apartment complex after a building was damaged by a landslide, the fire department said. Two of the rescued were taken to local hospitals with minor injuries.
The fire department said they also rescued about 40 dogs from a daycare center called Camp Bow Wow.
Total rainfall in the Mid Tennessee region has been between 4 and 8 inches since Saturday, the NWS said. The Nashville Brentwood area may have received 7 to 9 inches of rain based on radar rainfall estimates.
The Nashville airport has seen at least 7 inches of rain since Saturday. The two-day rainfall was the second largest in its history. After only 13.5 inches of rainfall that fell from May 1st to May 2nd, 2010. More than 5 inches of rain fell between 10 p.m. local time Saturday and 5 a.m. Sunday, the NWS said.
The rapidly falling rain inundated several rivers, creeks and creeks, forcing them to break through their banks. There were moderate to major river floods in the region on Sunday morning.
The Cumberland River, which runs through downtown Nashville, was expected to hit its high tide level, which is 40 feet, shortly after 1 p.m. local time on Sunday, and peaked at 41.9 feet just after midnight, according to Nashville Mayor John Cooper .
First responders are working with the Red Cross to break creek beds and conquer affected neighborhoods, Cooper said.
Mill Creek in Woodbine, on the south side of Nashville, hit the second highest ever recorded at 20.8 feet. “All of the creeks and rivers in southern Davidson County now seem to be climbing and falling,” said the NWS Nashville office. In Mount Juliet, an entire shopping mall was submerged in water, according to a storm report from the weather service. “Roads across the region are extremely dangerous and many are flooded,” Mount Juliet police captain Tyler Chandler wrote on Twitter. “Please, if you are in a safe area, stay where you are. Do not travel or try to drive through floods under any circumstances. Our emergency services are dealing with several incidents.” According to another report, some residents were trapped in attics of their homes near Woodbine. The Metro Nashville Fire Department said the emergency services responded early Sunday to residents affected by the storm across the county.
In Williamson County, just south of downtown Nashville, emergency responders responded to more than 34 rapid water rescue calls from vehicles and homes, emergency management director Todd Horton said during a virtual press conference early Sunday. More than 50 roads were blocked across the county.
Eight homes were struck by lightning during the storms, Horton said.
The Harpeth River at Franklin is rising and is expected to be just under 34.8 feet high, the weather service said. “If that’s accurate, it will reach a level about six inches below the May 2010 flood, which was 35.3 feet,” Horton said.
The Brentwood Fire Department went door-to-door Sunday looking for residents who live near the Harpeth River, said Kirk Bednar, Brentwood city manager. Emergency officers carried out several water rescues from prisoners in their homes.
The flash flood is expected to subside when the rain ends on Sunday morning, but the river’s flood will take more time to clear. Some rivers will not fall below the high tide level for the next 24 to 48 hours.
The next chance of rain in Tennessee and Nashville will be Tuesday night through Wednesday, said CNN meteorologist Haley Brink.
Lightning flood clocks apply to parts of the surrounding states where more precipitation is expected. The floods come just days after strong storms and tornadoes struck parts of the south, killing at least six people. Rainfalls from the previous storm system have extremely saturated the soil and the rivers have already swollen.
Tornado damage reported
There was also reports on possible tornado damage as a result of the storm system.
Late on Saturday afternoon, the radar showed possible twin tornadoes in central Tennessee, about 80 miles southwest of Nashville – one near Linden and the other east of Lexington. Two homes were “badly damaged, one of which was destroyed,” in a Saturday night tornado in Middlefork, near Lexington, “Henderson County’s sheriff Brian Duke told CNN.
According to David Chenault, spokesman for the Rusk County Office of Emergency Management, several buildings and homes were damaged when a tornado hit Rusk County, Texas, on Saturday night.
“We suffered some damage in the Mount Enterprise area of Rusk County,” said Chenault.
Most of the roads in the area have been blocked by fallen trees, the spokesman said, and utilities have been down. The NWS has not officially confirmed any tornadoes in Mount Enterprise, but a tornado warning was in effect around 7 p.m. when the damage occurred.
CNN’s Andy Rose, Haley Brink, Artemis Moshtaghian, Tyler Mauldin, Keith Allen and Susannah Cullinane contributed to this report.