Tennessee flood deaths rise to 6 with more rain coming

Tennessee emergency officials say a sixth person died in flash flooding over the weekend, and four of the six deaths involved cars

Via AP news wire
Tuesday 30 March 2021 17:35
US Severe Weather
US Severe Weather

Tennessee emergency officials have reported a sixth person died in flash flooding over the weekend, and four of the six deaths involved cars.

A vehicle driven by Donna Adams 61, of Surgoinsville, was swept into Big Creek in Hawkins County on Sunday afternoon, according to a preliminary report from the Tennessee Highway Patrol. Adams was swept out of one of the windows. Her body was found about 20 yards (18 meters) downstream. She is believed to have drowned.

Meanwhile, more than 250 miles (400 kilometers) to the west, in Ashland City, a man drove his car around barricades and apparently drowned that same evening. The man, who authorities say was in his 60s but have not named, ignored a sign warning of flooding and drove into high water, Cheatham County Emergency Management Director Edwin Hogan said.

In nearby Nashville Garry Cole, 70, was found in a submerged car in Seven Mile Creek behind a store. Douglas Hammond, 65, was swept away as he got out of his car that had become stuck in floodwaters near his home. His body was found on a nearby golf course, police said.

Two other Nashville victims were found in a wooded area near a homeless camp. Police identified one as Frederick Richards, 64. They are still trying to notify relatives of a 46-year-old woman and have not released her name.

With more rain expected Tuesday evening and Wednesday, the National Weather Service was warning that more flash flooding is likely. Between 1 and 2 inches (2.5 to 5 centimeters) of rain are predicted in Middle Tennessee, with higher amounts possible in some areas.

Nashville already received more than 7 inches (18 centimeters) of rain over the weekend, the second-highest two-day rainfall ever recorded.

Hawkins County Emergency Management Agency Director Jamie Miller said the tragic deaths bring home the importance of never driving into flooded areas. “That's why they say, ‘Turn around. Don’t drown,'” he said.

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