A flash flood warning remains in effect for much of Middle Tennessee Sunday morning as record rainfall battered the area.
The storm hitting Tennessee brought the second highest two-day rainfall total in Nashville history, and the most for a single day in March. Two people have died and more than 100 rescued, authorities said.
Meanwhile, the flash flood warnings remain in effect for Nashville, Franklin and Brentwood until 11 a.m., and Goodlettsville, Greenbrier and Ashland City until 9 a.m., according to the National Weather Service.
In Nashville, the city partially activated its emergency operations center and authorities have been busy overnight helping residents trapped by rising flood waters.
As of 7:30 a.m., swift-water rescue crews rescued at least 130 people from automobiles, apartments and houses, Nashville Fire Department spokesperson Joseph Pleasant said.
Police recovered a body from a vehicle near Seven Mile Creek and a Walmart off Nolensville Pike, according to Metro Police Cmd. Keith Stephens. Police had to wait for flood waters to recede before recovering the body, Stephens said.
Metro Police reported another presumed flood death on the Nashboro Village golf course Sunday morning. Authorities believe the man’s car ran off the road into a culvert at Nashboro Boulevard and Flintlock Court and that the man exited the car and was swept away by high water, police said.
“The rainfall we got yesterday and overnight made this one of wettest 24-hour periods in Nashville’s history,” National Weather Service meteorologist Sam Shamburger said Sunday morning. “It’s the worst flooding event we’ve seen since the May 2010 flood. But the main difference is this event affected a much smaller area than the 2010 flood.”
Nashville International Airport had 7.01 inches of rainfall recorded from about 5 a.m., Saturday to 5 a.m., Sunday, Shamburger said.
Areas that saw the heaviest rainfall, according to initial estimates, are Mt. Juliet, Lebanon, Brentwood and northern parts of Franklin over to Centerville. In Davidson County, Oak Hill, Woodbine, Antioch and Hermitage received heavy rain, according to Shamburger.
As of 8:05 a.m., about 4,600 Nashville Electric Service customers were without power.
NASHVILLE RAINFALL TOTALS:Storm brings single wettest March day in city history
Nashville Fire Department crews responded overnight to an apartment in the 5100 block of Linbar Drive in Antioch.
“Crews found that a building structure had been compromised due to a mudslide,” Fire Department spokesperson Kendra Loney said. “There were multiple people unable to leave the building on their own due to flooding in the area. Boat 13 was launched and were able to rescue at least 15 persons from that building.”
Two people were taken to the hospital for non-critical injuries, Loney said.
At Camp Bow Wow on Craighead Street, crews rescued 40 dogs, Pleasant said.
In total, from midnight Saturday through 6 a.m. Sunday, the Metro Nashville Department of Emergency Communications has received 2,429 911 calls, a 40% increase from the same period last week and 2,789 non-emergency calls, a 34% increase.
During the weather event, 911 operators received a call every 19 seconds, on average, the Office of Emergency Management reported.
Brentwood resident on floods: ‘You count on those around you’
The Wildwood neighborhood in Brentwood saw the worst flooding since the 2010 flood, when waters rose to historic heights and destroyed at least one home.
Saturday night’s storms caused the Harpeth River to swell, spilling floodwater into the homes and yards of residents along Harpeth River Drive.
Carolyn Miller, who has lived in her Noel Drive home since 2007, said some of her neighbors on the Harpeth River had to be rescued by emergency crews overnight as waters encroached on their homes. Her home suffered some damage from the flooding, when water rushed into the crawlspace beneath her home and fried her AC unit.
Her yard was littered with debris Sunday morning. Sports balls previously lost to the river now deposited near her doorway. One of the bushes decorating her yard was brought to her by floodwaters in 2010, so she planted it. Eleven years later, it survived another flood.
“This neighborhood has been great, because starting around midnight, people started texting our thread,” she said. “And once people got stuck, we were able to tell the police and tell them where to go.”
Just like after the 2010 flood, Miller expects the neighborhood to pull together to assist with cleanup efforts after the flood recedes.
“With any emergency situation, you count on those around you,” she said. “I wouldn’t want to be in a different neighborhood.”
Williamson County evacuations, rising Harpeth River
In Williamson County, more than 50 roads were closed Sunday morning due to flooding, according to the county’s Emergency Management Agency. Authorities received 34 swift-water rescue calls.
Between 12 and 18 homes have been evacuated along Harpeth River Drive, the agency said. Evacuations also took place in the Meadowgreen Acres Subdivision and along Old Harding Road and Del Rio Pike.
Brentwood Fire and Rescue crews helped more than 50 people and at one point went door to door along Harpeth Drive, the Brentwood Police Department
In Williamson County, the rainfall has swelled the Harpeth River. The river is forecast to rise to 34.8 feet Sunday night, which would make it the third highest flood stage on record, the National Weather Service said.
Road closures, rescues in Wilson County
In Mt. Juliet, the authorities had to rescue at least three people from a home on West Division Street, Police Capt. Tyler Chandler said. The department reported five non-injury crashes and twelve vehicle water rescues. No deaths or serious injuries have been reported.
The city has reports of other flooded homes and numerous road closures, Chandler said. Among the flooded and impassable roads: Mt. Juliet Road from Division Street to Westin Drive; Mt. Juliet Road near Old Lebanon Dirt Road; and Old Lebanon Dirt Road near the Davidson County line.
“From personal experience this is about 2010 status for us,” Chandler said. “I don’t know if that is the same for elsewhere and talking to our officers who have been here for the 2010 flood, they say it’s worse for our area.”
Lebanon Public Square has about two feet of water, Mayor Rick Bell said.
“There are a lot of people in Lebanon who are suffering right now, so keep them in your prayers,” Bell said.
Rutherford County water rescues, hard hit areas
In Rutherford County, county fire crews performed five rescues by 4 a.m. Sunday, not including any conducted inside Murfreesboro city limits, the county Emergency Management Agency reported.
Crews rescued eight people. There were no injuries, the agency reported. No homes have been evacuated.
“It’s been a long night,” Rutherford County Public Safety Director Chris Clark said in a statement. “Our main focus was planning and resource management, including calling on additional water rescue teams, deciding on how to transport victims, and pinpointing shelter options.”
The hardest hit areas were on the south side of the county near Eagleville, Christiana and Rockvale, Clark said.
“As the sun rises, we anticipate some water rescue responses as people start heading to church and moving about,” he said.
As of around 6:30 a.m., 10 additional calls came in, according to the county.
“It will take a while for the water to recede,” Clark said. “The Stones River is out of its banks with nowhere for the water to go. Percy Pwiriest is projected to rise up to 10 feet in the next 24 hours as well.”
So far, the two-day rainfall total for the storm is 6.69 inches, surpassing the 6.68 inches measured on Sept. 13-14, 1979, giving the city the second largest two-day rainfall in city history. The amount only trails May 1-2, 2010, when more than 13 inches of rain fell.
Nashville weather forecast
Sunday: Clouds and some rain could linger through the morning, with some potentially heavy rainfall in the mix. Sunday afternoon should be mostly sunny with a high near 62 and wind gusts up to 25 mph. Temperatures are expected to drop overnight into the upper 30s and a light wind out of the northwest.
Monday: The cold temperatures Sunday night could produce patchy frost early Monday morning, but temperatures should warm to a high of 64 degrees under sunny skies with calm winds out of the southeast.
Tuesday: The day should start mostly clear with temperatures climbing to a high in the mid 70s under sunny skies. Winds out of the south could gust up to 20 mph during the day. The forecast includes a chance of rain late Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning, with the potential for a thunderstorm in the mix.
Nashville weather radar
Yihyun Jeong and Cole Villena contributed reporting.
This is a developing story.