TENNESSEE (Dispatches) – Catastrophic flooding in Middle Tennessee left at least ten people dead and dozens missing Saturday as record-shattering rainfall washed away homes and rural roads, authorities said.
Cars and entire houses were swept down a road in Waverly, a town of about 4,500 people that Business owner Kansas Klein, 48, has called home for more than half his life. Two girls who were holding on to a puppy and clinging to a wooden board swept past, far too fast for Klein and other onlookers to go down and grab hold of them.
The low-income homes — dozens of block buildings known as Brookside — appeared to have borne the brunt of the flash flood, Klein said.
“It was devastating: buildings were knocked down, half of them were destroyed,” Klein said. “People were pulling out bodies of people who had drowned and didn’t make it out.”
Rob Edwards, the chief deputy of the Humphreys County Sheriff’s Office, confirmed the numbers of missing and dead after catastrophic flash floods swept through Central Tennessee.
There were “power outages all over the area,” Deputy Edwards said in an email. “Complicating issues is the loss of all cellphone coverage from the major carriers,” he added.
Meanwhile, hurricane Henri wreaked havoc on New York early Sunday, but early downpours had already sparked major flooding in the Big Apple by Saturday night, flooding subways and roadways.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the storm was on course to make landfall on Long Island or in southern New England by midday Sunday.
However, storms resulting in part from moisture from Henri struck the region late Saturday bringing heavy rains and flash floods to New York City, and even forcing drivers out of their cars in Brooklyn.
Nearly 4 inches of rain fell over Central Park on Saturday night, with 1.69 inches coming down just between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m., the National Weather Service said.
Even more flooding is likely to happen when Henri arrived in the region as a Category 1 hurricane or a strong tropical storm.
Meanwhile, Hurricane Grace pummeled Mexico with torrential rain on Saturday, causing severe flooding and mudslides that killed at least eight people after becoming one of the most powerful storms in years to hit the country’s Gulf coast.
Grace was blowing maximum sustained winds of 201 kilometers per hour, a Category 3 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, when it slammed into the coast near the resort of Tecolutla in Veracruz state in the early morning.
The state government said eight people were killed, including six from a single family. All but one of the victims died in Xalapa, the state capital, including a young girl killed by a mudslide that hit her home, the government said.
An adult was killed by a collapsed roof in the city of Poza Rica further north in the state, Veracruz Governor Cuitlahuac Garcia told a news conference.