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22 People Killed, More Unaccounted for After Tennessee Flash Flood

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Officials in Middle Tennessee reported at least 22 people dead and many more are still missing after the devastating flash flood swept the area on Saturday.

According to Humphreys County Sheriff Chris Davis, there are 22 casualties in his county, and about 50 more are still considered missing.

Authorities conducted search and rescue, as well as house-to-house checks in the hardest-hit areas in Humphreys, a rural county in Tennessee with a population of about 18,500 and approximately 72 miles west of Nashville.

Destructive Weather, the Community has not Seen Before

Saturday’s flooding caused heavy damage to the area. Communication lines were cut off and roads were destroyed. Several accounts from survivors indicate that the event happened too fast.

People could see water rising from their yard, and in a few heartbeats, it came rushing through their homes.

According to Tennessee Governor Bill Lee during a press conference on Sunday, what happened that day is a “devastating picture of loss and heartache.” He also added that the death and damage were a result of a “record flood like that community has not seen before.”

Reports from local authorities who made a sweep through the area confirmed 22 deaths, including twin toddlers who were swept away by the rushing water from their father’s arms.

Humphreys County Sheriff Chris Davis also lost a friend to the floods. The names of the locals reported missing are displayed on the county’s emergency centerboard and on a city department Facebook page.

“Many of the missing live in the neighborhood where the water rose the fastest,” said the sheriff.

The hardest-hit areas experienced double the rain in that part of Middle Tennessee. According to meteorologists, this is worse than the previous worst-case scenario of flooding predicted in the locality.

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Man-Made Climate Change

According to Krissy Hurly, a weather service meteorologist in the city of Nashville, it was hard to tell whether or not climate change played a role during Saturday’s flooding.

“We had an incredible amount of water in the atmosphere. Thunderstorms developed and moved across the same area over and over and over,” she said as she described what happened during Saturday’s flooding.

Excessive flooding is not only a problem experienced in Tennessee.

A federal study found that man-made climate change may lead to more chances of heavy downpour which, in August 2016 resulted in 26 inches (66 centimeters) of rain around Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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