Devastating floods after record rainfall in the southern US state of Tennessee have left at least 21 people dead and at least 20 more missing, local officials said in what they warned was a preliminary toll.
Tennessee was hit Saturday by what meteorologists called historic storms and flooding, dumping as much as 17 inches (38 centimeters) of rain.
Rural roads, state highways, bridges, and hundreds of homes were washed out and widespread power outages affected thousands of people.
In Humpreys County, about 90 minutes from country music hub Nashville, the downpour on Saturday broke a 24-hour rainfall record for Tennessee, the National Weather Service said.
Tennessee Governor Bill Lee described the “picture of loss and heartache” in Waverly, a hard-hit town of around 4,500 where 20 of the victims died.
“Our hearts and our prayers need to be for those folks in that community, many of them who have suffered not only the loss of their homes but the loss of family members and friends,” he said in a televised press conference Sunday after touring the wreckage.
Police chief Grant Gillespie said the other death was in a more remote area of the county.