After last week’s deadly and destructive flooding, middle Tennessee remains deep in recovery mode, and it appears the remnants of Hurricane Ida will come for the state.
Ida, a tropical storm now, is expected to pass through central Mississippi Monday afternoon, before picking up speed Monday evening as it tracks across northeastern Mississippi into the Tennessee Valley, a report said.
The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency warned that remnants of Hurricane Ida could reach the West and Middle Tennessee on Monday night through Tuesday, with heavy rain and flash flooding possible in the same areas as the flood emergency last weekend.
Adds the National Weather Service, “Severe weather cannot be ruled out overnight mainly south of I-40.”
Residents should be making preparations now: Assessing the flood risk in their locality, creating an evacuation plan, and ensuring that they have multiple sources of weather information such as the ReadyTN App or Weather Radio.
Waverly was one of the most severely affected Tennessee cities by the flooding. The Humphreys County Emergency Management Agency offered grief counseling and barbecue to all those who were impacted. They also provided tarps, bottled water, and food for anyone waiting for the next flood.
Waverly Police Chief Grant Gillespie stated that while it is sad that the count now stands at 20, “we’re happy that our families now have a closure that they need to get on,” he said. “We don’t expect them to find more victims but we will still be on standby in the event that someone is reported missing.”
Ten miles east in McEwen, meteorologists measured more than 17 inches of rain on August 21 alone — which Krissy Hurley, a meteorologist in the National Weather Service‘s Nashville office, said amounted to roughly four months of rain in a single day. Although 6 inches was the original forecast, meteorologists were open to higher amounts.
She said, “We were receiving rainfall rates of 3 inches per hour for three straight hours.” It’s an amazing, and astronomical type of statistic to look at after the fact.
The ground is still wet and there’s no way to dry it. Storms from Ida’s core could bring up to 3 to 6 inches more rain to the Tennessee Valley and Ohio Valleys, as well as the Mid-Atlantic.
Forecasters predict that the rain will continue through Wednesday for Middle Tennessee, despite a National Weather Service warning about possible flash flooding.
“Residents are advised to cover any openings in damaged structures, and secure their belongings in anticipation of the incoming storm,” said the county EMA in a press release.
There is one silver lining in the storm currently heading towards the heart of Tennessee: this week’s rainfall may be more forgiving than previous.
Grey Collier, Humphreys County EMA spokesperson, stated in a news release that “localized flooding” is possible according to the National Weather Service. However, it is not expected to be as severe as last week’s flooding.
A few days ago, the agency declared it would suspend its search efforts after identifying 20 victims of the flooding that occurred in the area. They included twins aged 7 months and a woman, 55 years old who streamed floodwaters live on her Facebook page.
National Guardsmen armed with Blackhawk helicopters and tactical vehicles were mobilized to aid in the rescue effort. Floodwaters swept away homes and took cars and other personal belongings with them. Almost 300 homes were destroyed. Cell phone service and electricity were cut off. Schools were made unusable.
Residents said that rapid-rising waters made it impossible to gather their belongings or get out of the water.