Speed Reads

Nature's Nightmares

At least 4 dead in Nashville floods after 7 inches of rain douse area

More than 7 inches of rain fell on Nashville over the weekend, causing rivers and creeks to flood and leaving at least four people dead, Nashville Mayor John Cooper said Sunday. The downpour ended Sunday morning, but "over the next couple of days, we'll see some of our rivers continue to rise," said National Weather Service meteorologist Brittney Whitehead. "And we've got several flood warnings out for those areas that we expect to remain high, at least into Monday."

Cooper said the 7.01 inches of rain, including 5.76 inches on Saturday, make for Nashville's second-biggest two-day rainfall on record. Other parts of central Tennessee got anywhere from 4 to 8 inches of rain.

The four bodies discovered Sunday were Douglas Hammond, 65, likely swept away by high water after escaping his vehicle; Gary Cole, 70; found dead in a sedan submerged in a creek near a Walmart; and an unidentified 64-year-old man and 46-year-old woman found dead near a homeless camp. Metropolitan Nashville Police Chief John Drake said a police officer was rescued clinging to a tree after he got out of his vehicle when it was caught in floodwaters.

As of Sunday morning, at least 130 people had been rescued from cars, houses, and apartments. The Tennessee deluge was part of a swath of extreme weather that stretched from East Texas to North Carolina over the weekend. The weather events included tornadoes, strong winds, and large hail.