Tennessee floods: Ten dead and dozens missing after record rain in southeastern state

·2-min read

At least 10 people are dead and 30 are missing after record rainfall washed away homes and rural roads in the US state of Tennessee.

Between 25cm and 30cm (10in to 12in) of rain caused floodwaters to reach 2.1m (7ft) inside some of the buildings affected.

Cars and entire houses were swept down a road in Waverly - about 60 miles (90km) west of Nashville - along with two girls holding a puppy and clinging to a wooden board, which onlookers were unable to grab hold of.

Business owner Kansas Klein, who watched in horror from a bridge, said: "It was amazing how quick it came and how quick it left."

Among those who died were twin toddlers who had been swept away from their father.

Low income homes appear to have borne the brunt of the flash flood, according to Mr Klein, who spoke to the AP news agency.

Humphreys County Sheriff Chris Davis told NBC affiliate WSMV in Nashville that no one should travel unless absolutely necessary

More rain hit the town of McEwen, which was drenched with about 43cm (17in) of rain in less than a day, smashing the previous state record of 34.5cm (13.6in) from 1982.

It resulted in many people having to be rescued, roads being closed, and communications disrupted.

Tennessee governor Bill Lee tweeted: "Tennesseans, please stay cautious of rising floodwaters caused by heavy rainfall in parts of Middle TN. We are actively working with emergency response officials & first responders as they support Tennesseans in flooded areas."

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency activated its emergency operations centre and said the Tennessee National Guard, the state Highway Patrol, and Fire Mutual Aid were responding.

It is thought two girls and a puppy were rescued downstream.

It is said that the area has been hit by its third "100-hundred year flood" event in just over 10 years.

The extreme weather comes as Hurricane Henri raced toward the northeast of the country, with the National Hurricane Center issuing a storm surge warning for New York and parts of New England, with up to 25cm (10in) of rain and tornadoes forecast in isolated areas.

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