At least 21 people died after rains and floods in Tennessee

At least 21 people died after rains and floods in Tennessee

At least , 21 people have died and 20 more are missing after heavy rain and flooding engulfed parts of Tennessee, damaging homes, downing trees and overturning cars, officials said Sunday.

Twenty A person has died in Waverley, a small town about 75 miles west of Nashville, said Grant Gillespie, the city's chief of public safety.

«We have suffered a devastating loss,» he said at a news conference.

The number of missing people dropped from 50 earlier Sunday to 20 the same day as first responders continued their search. On its Facebook page, the public safety department listed the names of the missing and asked the public for help in finding them. The agency said there are children on the list.

Humphreys County Sheriff Chris Davis said authorities spent Sunday answering 911 calls and trying to get an idea of ​​how badly the area has been hit. Parts of the county, with a population of just over 19,000, are still without power and telephone service, he said.

The flood came after record rainfall, according to the National Weather Service office in Nashville. More than 17 inches of rain in 24 hours was recorded in Humphreys County on Saturday, beating the previous record of 13.6 inches in 1982.

In neighboring North Carolina, flooding caused by the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred last week, was also fatal. In hard-hit Haywood County, officials said Sunday five people have died and one is missing.