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15 dead amid major flooding in Middle Tennessee, at least 30 others missing

Waverly flooding sky 5 8/21/21
Posted at 7:30 PM, Aug 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-22 14:45:01-04

WAVERLY, TENNESSEE — Fifteen people are dead and officials are searching for between 30 and 40 people after heavy rainfall led to major flooding in parts of Middle Tennessee on Saturday.

Humphreys County Sheriff Chris Davis initially confirmed 10 fatalities Saturday evening after areas west of Nashville experienced 10 to 12 inches of rainfall in about six hours Saturday. Five additional deaths were confirmed on Sunday.

Dickson, Humphreys and Hickman County have seen the most severe flooding.

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) has issued a state of emergency in response. The agency has also opened shelters in Dickson, Hickman and Humphreys counties.

PHOTOS: Heavy rainfall causes severe flooding in Middle Tennessee

The Humphreys County Sheriff's Office has set up a reunification center at McEwen High School. Anyone with missing person information or looking for a loved one is asked to meet at the school.

Humphreys County officials said the flooding is so severe, the city of Waverly was only accessible by boat. Officials said water levels were at least eight feet deep in some parts of Waverly.

The National Weather Service reports there have been numerous calls for water rescues and road closures amid an "incredibly dangerous flooding situation" in those counties.

The heavy rain caused Waverly Elementary School to flood. School officials said at least four feet of water were in the school.

The flooding has also caused outages to the cell phone service in Humphreys County.

Waverly residents have been asked to boil their water before drinking or using it for cooking. The Waverly Department of Public Safety issued a boil advisory until the water system can be properly restored. An 8 p.m. local time curfew is also in place for the city of Waverly.

Officials are asking for everyone to stay off the roads to allow emergency operations to continue. In Dickson County, Highway 48 near Jones Creek, Turkey Creek Road and areas around Garners Creek all experienced flash flooding. U.S. 70 in Waverly is also closed.

Floodwater took over parts of Interstate 40, causing the Tennessee Highway Patrol to temporarily shut down the interstate in both directions near the 153-mile marker. The roadway has since reopened.

As of 5 p.m., there are about 4,200 customers without power, the bulk of which are in Humphreys County.

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The county's 911 system was interrupted after the call center was flooded.

Three Tennessee Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team crews have been deployed to Humphreys County to assist with ongoing water rescue efforts.

garners creek hickman county flooding 8/21/21
Highway 48 in Hickman County over Garners Creek on Saturday, August 21, 2021.

The Nashville Office of Emergency Management is also sending four swift-water rescue teams for assistance.