SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 7 December 2022, Wednesday |

Record Rains Cause Flash Flooding in Tennessee; 4 Dead

Torrential rains across Tennessee flooded homes and at least one church and left roads impassable, prompting dozens of people to be rescued in the Nashville area. Authorities said four bodies were found Sunday in the flood’s aftermath. Nashville received more than 7 inches of rain, the second-highest two-day rainfall total ever recorded, Mayor John Cooper said at a news conference Sunday. Ebony Northern said a normally tame creek running through her Nashville apartment complex swiftly rose after heavy rain started late Saturday night. Within an hour or so, she could see some first-floor units in other parts of the complex being flooded. She said people moved to the second floor and she also heard calls for boats come in over the fire department scanner.  “The units are a mess. Some of the outside air conditioning units have floated off,” she said Sunday morning.

At least one church canceled in-person Palm Sunday services. The New Tribe Church in Mt. Juliet said on Facebook that knee-deep water flooded the building, broke out the glass of its front entrance and sent chairs through a hallway. “I am smiling but our hearts are devastated,” Pastor Jarod Smith said at the start of an online service. “We are standing in our worship center and there’s just not enough words to describe what it actually looks like.”

Nashville Fire Chief William Swann said swift-water teams were placed on standby in anticipation of the storms. At least 130 people were rescued from cars, apartments and homes, while about 40 dogs were moved from a Nashville boarding kennel, Camp Bow Wow, to another location.

To the south in Williamson County, more than 34 swift water rescues were carried out, according to county Emergency Management Agency Director Todd Horton. As many as 18 homes in one neighborhood had to be evacuated. A portion of Interstate 40 was temporarily shut down because of high water that stranded a vehicle and its driver. The driver was able to get out of the vehicle and to safety, the Tennessee Highway Patrol in Nashville tweeted. First responders also told drivers to avoid part of I-24 south of Nashville.

 

In Bristol, along the Virginia border, a NASCAR race on a dirt track Sunday was postponed until Monday after torrential rains flooded campgrounds and parking lots surrounding Bristol Motor Speedway.

In Brentwood, eight people and a dog stayed overnight at City Hall after flooding from the Little Harpeth River forced residents from their homes, City Manager Kirk Bednar said. Hotels in the area were booked up, in part because of spring break, he said.

Fifteen people were rescued and two were taken to the hospital at the City View Apartments in south Nashville, where the lower level of the building was flooded in waist-deep water. The fire department responded to reports of a collapse at the building following a mudslide, news outlets reported. The two hospitalized patients had injuries not considered to be life-threatening.