Ida rains temporarily hamper cleanup after Tennessee floods

Aug 31, 2021, 10:52 AM | Updated: 3:22 pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Rain from Tropical Depression Ida temporarily hampered cleanup efforts Tuesday for a rural Tennessee community ravaged by recent deadly flooding, but the extra dousing brought no new flooding, authorities said.

About 2.5 inches (6 centimeters) of rain fell overnight and showers were expected throughout the day, according to the Humphreys County Emergency Management Agency. The Tennessee National Guard was keeping an eye on water levels in creek beds and under bridges while police in Waverly, where the Aug. 21 floods caused the most damage, said they were on the lookout for any road flooding.

Cleanup and recovery efforts are expected to resume Wednesday, officials said. By Tuesday afternoon, a flash flood watch was dropped for the part of central Tennessee that includes Humphreys County, according to the National Weather Service.

“It’s rained all day, but no additional flooding,” Grey Collier, a spokesperson for the local emergency agency, said late Tuesday afternoon.

Authorities are encouraging people to pick up tarps being distributed to area residents so they can cover their damaged homes and other property.

Elsewhere in Tennessee, the tropical system dumped enough rain that event organizers on Tuesday decided to cancel the prominent Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. The annual festival was scheduled to start Thursday on the site of a former farm in Manchester, about an hour southeast of Nashville, but organizers said the waterlogged festival grounds are unsafe for driving or camping.

The heavy rainfall also led to a few school cancelations, including in Lawrence and Giles counties on Tuesday, while McMinn County canceled classes for Wednesday.

The flooding just over a week ago killed 20 people as it took out houses, roads, cellphone towers and telephone lines. The rain totals more than tripled forecasts and shattered the state record for one-day rainfall. More than 270 homes were destroyed and 160 took major damage in the county of about 18,000, located some 60 miles (95 kilometers) west of Nashville, according to the Humphreys County Emergency Management Agency.

Four state-owned bridges in three locations in Humphreys and Hickman counties are beyond repair and will stay closed until they are rebuilt, and seven additional locally owned bridges in Humphreys will remain closed pending repair or replacement contracts, the state Department of Transportation said Tuesday.

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Ida rains temporarily hamper cleanup after Tennessee floods