Mar 29, 2021 - Science

Nashville mayor declares emergency after deadly flooding

 A van and trailer trapped in a parking lot due to local flooding during the weekend of the Food City Dirt Race on March 28, 2021 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, TN.

A van and trailer trapped in a parking lot from flooding at the Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee, on Sunday. Photo: Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Record torrential rainfall lashing Tennessee has flooded Nashville-area buildings and resulted in the deaths of at least four people, authorities said Sunday.

Details: Nashville Mayor John Cooper (D) told a briefing that 7 inches of rain had fallen in two days in Nashville — the second highest on record. Authorities told the briefing at least 130 people were rescued from the floods overnight.

  • Cooper tweeted that he's signed an executive order "declaring a local state of emergency due to flooding" in the city. He's seeking state and federal resources to assist in Davidson County, the worst-affected area.

By the numbers: 5.75 inches of rain fell in Nashville on Saturday, making it the city's wettest March day on record, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

The big picture: The flooding comes after powerful winds, rains, thunderstorms and hail pummeled the Southeast last week and deadly tornadoes struck Alabama and Georgia.

What to watch: While the rainfall has eased, flooding remains a real threat.

  • Per the NWS, the Cumberland River is forecast to peak at 49 feet by midnight Monday — 9 feet above the flood stage.

For the record: During the May 2010 floods that killed 36 people, the river crested at 51.86 feet, the Tennessean notes.

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