Tennessee Flood 8/21-22/21

Bill's Blog

While the media was focused on Tropical Storm Henri, a much deadlier weather event struck middle Tennessee.

Homes were completely swept away in the flood from WKRN

Up to 17″ of rain fell Saturday night in Waverly County Tennessee. There are at least 22 fatalities and as I write this, there are still 12 people missing. Check out some pictures of the flood. Here’s some rainfall totals:

Rainfall totals from Saturday evening’s storms

If either of the 17″ verifies, it would break the record 24-hour rainfall for the state of Tennessee by over 3″. The current record 24-hour rainfall for Tennessee is 13.6″ at Milan on 9/13/82. Here’s more storm/flood reports. Note that there was no “severe weathr” connected to this batch of storms…no tornadoes, no hail, no strong winds, just heavy rain.

Graph of the Flood on the Duck River in Tennessee

This is a graph of the Duck River – you can see the river rose from 4 feet to 25.1 feet, a rise of 21 feet. Picture what it would be like here if the Grand River or the Kalamazoo River rose 21 feet. That’s how catastrophic this was.

Graph of the Piney River near Vernon TN

This graph is even more dramatic. The Piney River rose from 3.6 feet to 31.8 feet – a rise of 28.2 feet! It peaked at nearly 8 FEET above major flood – by far a new record high level.

“It was devastating: buildings were knocked down, half of them were destroyed,” Kansas Klein told the Associated Press. Hundreds of homes are uninhabitable – some buildings and cars are “completely gone”.

Map from WeatherBell showing where the heaviest rainfall occurred (light blue)

The map above from WeatherBell shows where the heavy rain fell in the light blue color west of Nashville. Much of the rain fell in just several hours time as storms “trained” over the same area.

Floodwaters at Waverly Junior High School

The Waverly Schools will be closed until further notice. Water flowed through the school. Forty out of 50 buses were flooded.

The National Guard was called out to help with rescue efforts.

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