Another man was found dead on the Nashboro Village golf course. Nashville police said they believe he was “swept away by high water” after escaping from his vehicle, which had run off the road and into a culvert.
Two more people, one male and one female, were found dead near a homeless camp in an area affected by flooding from Seven Mile Creek, police said.
The torrents in Nashville occurred from a powerful storm system that swept through the Tennessee Valley and elsewhere in the South on Saturday.
The National Weather Service received more than 250 reports of severe weather from East Texas to North Carolina, including 16 reports of tornadoes, 100 instances of damaging winds and nearly 140 reports of large hail. The Weather Service issued a warning about a “large and extremely dangerous” tornado near Carthage, Tex., where local affiliate KLTV reported major damage and one fatality.
Strong to severe thunderstorms erupted over Tennessee on Saturday afternoon and night, and flood warnings affected about half the state. A flash flood emergency, the most severe alert for rainfall, was issued in Nashville at 12:41 a.m. local time.
“This is a PARTICULARLY DANGEROUS SITUATION. SEEK HIGHER GROUND NOW,” the Weather Service wrote.
Nashville received 5.76 inches of rain on Saturday, its fourth-wettest day on record. The rain finally ended around 7 a.m. Sunday local time, making for a two-day total of 7.01 inches and marking its second-biggest two-day rainstorm on record. A wide swath of central Tennessee received 4 to 8 inches of rain, with locally higher amounts.
By Sunday morning, the rainfall had subsided in most of Middle Tennessee, but water levels were still rising in some creeks and rivers, according to the Weather Service. It warned that flooded roads would continue to pose a risk through the day.
Cars and homes were engulfed. Parking lots filled with water. Power lines were downed, leaving many in the dark.
As of about 9:05 a.m. local time, about 2,400 Nashville Electric Service customers were without power. About 24 hours earlier, the company tweeted that the severe weather had knocked out power to more than 16,000 customers.
Nashville emergency personnel were responding to multiple calls of people trapped as the waters rose. As of 7:30 a.m., crews had rescued at least 130 people from vehicles, apartments and houses, according to an online update.
Beginning at midnight Saturday through 6 a.m. Sunday, Nashville authorities reported 2,429 calls to 911 amid the weather event — a 40 percent uptick from the same period last week.
“Motorists are urged not to drive through flood waters, just two feet of moving water can sweep a vehicle away,” the Nashville Office of Emergency Management wrote.
The storm system will push into the Southeast and the Mid-Atlantic on Sunday, where there is a heightened risk of severe weather from near Atlanta to the Washington-Baltimore region. More than 70 million people could be affected by thunderstorms.