Residents of rural Tennessee are scrambling to clear debris from intense Aug. 21 floods that killed 20 people, and cover roofs of damaged homes with tarps before Hurricane Ida is expected to saturate the area, the Associated Press reported.
Volunteers and emergency responders are also working to clear up debris as downtown Tennessee has received a flash flood watch from the National Weather Service, anticipating rainfall from Ida’s remains that could range from 2 to 5 inches Monday night through Wednesday.
The Humphreys County Emergency Management Agency acknowledged there could be flooding in Waverly and other areas hit hard by the recent floods, but said it “will not be the magnitude of last week’s floods,” based on what the report said. National Weather Service has said.
More than 800 loads of debris from the floods that hit Humphreys County, home to about 18,000 people, have been sent to a landfill.
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Authorities are encouraging people to cover their damaged homes and other property. They also said they are monitoring the forecast and preparing in case the situation becomes dangerous.
“The Waverly Department of Public Safety is monitoring the weather and will enter affected neighborhoods to announce if evacuations are needed,” said a flood recovery report from emergency services.
The floods wiped out homes, roads, cell towers and phone lines, with rain totals more than tripling forecasts and shattering the state record for one-day rainfall. More than 270 homes were destroyed and 160 suffered major damage, according to the Humphreys County Emergency Management Agency.
Much of that destruction centered on Waverly, a small town about 60 miles west of Nashville. The town of McEwen near Waverly was ravaged by 17 inches (43 centimeters) of rain, according to the National Weather Service.
Jeani Rice-Cranford helped shelter about 15 people in her hillside home during the flooding and said she was concerned about the prospect of another significant flood for her community.
She said she is concerned about people getting trapped again and whether she has enough supplies if she needs to help again. She also worries about how much more people could handle after a tragedy.
“It’s been a week now, so some of the numbness is gone and some of the processing is starting,” she said. “I think our officials have done a great job coordinating with mental health experts and bringing people in.”