Tennessee floods death toll reaches 22 as Waverly hit by dramatic tragedy – latest news

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Flash floods started descending on the southern US state of Tennessee this weekend. Waters have consumed entire roads and left telephone and power lines out of action. Eye-witnesses described the raging waters as being like a tsunami, with resident Casey Hipshire telling CNN: “All of a sudden it was like a tidal wave that just came over the road and into my yard. Next thing I know the water is in my house, and it’s up to my chest.”

Among those killed were 7-month-old twins, who were swept out of her arms as the floodwaters took hold.

Footage from the scene show people, homes and vehicles being swept away by the raging waters.

President Joe Biden said the federal state “stands ready to offer them support”, especially for areas such as the cities of Waverly and McEwen which appear to be the worst affected.

The flash flooding in Tennessee sparked following intense rainfall, which saw storms deposit up to 17 inches of rain over Humphreys County alone.

According to the National Weather Service, the totals exceeded established records in the county before by three inches.

Deaths and widespread property damage have followed elsewhere, with local infrastructure and communications down and twin seven-month-old girls among the dead.

For some people across the Atlantic, the scenes in Tennessee may seem familiar.

Non-lethal but property endangering flooding started in the UK and swept over Germany, Austria, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands and more.

In total, 230 people have died, and the same culprit lies behind the floods in the US.

Some forecasters have started attributed the record-breaking rain to climate change.

In 2016, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) predicted warming temperatures would cause statewide flooding.

Records have confirmed Tennessee’s floods have got worse over the last decade.

In 2010, Nashville, the state’s capital, recorded 13 inches of rain over 36 hours.

Floods killed dozens of people then as well, forcing the government to knock down 300 vulnerable homes.

Unfortunately, the measures employed to aid the city were not spread through the rest of the state, leaving other areas vulnerable.

More data has found rain falling during the worst storms has increased across the southeast US.

The latest National Climate Assessment has found rainfall has increased by nearly a third between 1958 and 2016.

The amount of rain falling has a direct relation to the warmer climate.

Figures show an increase of roughly 2C in average temperatures since the 19th century.

These promote the development of hotter air that is more capable of clinging to moisture.

Relentless heat powered at the ground makes it into a vessel for the coming rain.

Hard soil will retain the rain loosed by the clouds, causing flash floods like those now coursing through Tennessee.

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