DEVELOPING: Death and damage toll rise in Nashville flood - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

DEVELOPING: Death and damage toll rise in Nashville flood

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Update 5:30pm Monday

NASHVILLE (WRCB)- The Department of Correction has begun the process of evacuating more than 100 inmates from a Nashville prison due to flooding. Several housing units at the Charles Bass Correctional Complex in West Nashville have been affected by the recent flood. Forty-six inmates have been moved to the nearby Lois M. DeBerry Special Needs Facility. Forty inmates have been transferred to the Northwest Correctional Complex in Lake County. Thirty-eight inmates are being moved to the Turney Center Industrial Prison in Hickman County.

"The flooding has affected our department as it has so many businesses and homes across Tennessee," said Deputy Commissioner David G. Mills. "We are very proud of the efforts provided by our committed staff during this very difficult time."  

Several Nashville prisons had been without power on Sunday. Service has since been restored. No other major problems have been reported at TDOC facilities. 

Update 3:30pm Monday

NASHVILLE (WRCB) - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District is operating area dams along the Cumberland River and its tributaries to minimize flooding and reduce lake levels due to heavy rainfall throughout Tennessee and southern Kentucky. 

Record high lake elevations are being recorded at dams such as J. Percy Priest in Nashville; Old Hickory in Hendersonville, Tenn.; and Cheatham in Ashland City, Tenn. "Some of these lakes are reaching capacity, and we have a plan to release water from these projects in order to lower those lakes to safe elevations," explained Bob Sneed, Water Manager for the Nashville District. 

"We recognize the impact of releases to communities along the already swollen creeks and rivers," Sneed went on, "and we will try to balance risks to these communities with risks to those projects whose lakes are reaching capacity."

"Our primary concern as always is public safety," said Lt. Col. Anthony Mitchell, Commander of the Nashville District. "Our water managers and dam safety specialists are working around the clock to ensure that our projects are safe and that we minimize flooding wherever possible."

"We are working closely with the National Weather Service," said Sneed. Operation plans for area dams and lakes are provided to the National Weather Service (NWS), who maintains data regarding projected river elevations. Area residents with questions regarding projected river elevations should visit the National Weather Service website at

The following updates for area population centers are released by the Water Management Branch of the Nashville District. 


·         No issues with flooding at Celina.


·         Carthage is currently 6.06 feet above flood stage. The combination of no releases from Center Hill Dam and a series of flow reductions currently underway at Cordell Hull Dam should provide relief to the situation at Carthage.


·         Flood stage at Nashville is a stage of 40 ft. The NWS is forecasting that the Cumberland River will crest at 51.5 ft around 6:00 p.m. today, 11.5 feet above flood stage. At 12:30 p.m., the river elevation in Nashville was 51.35 feet. Flow reductions at Old Hickory scheduled for this afternoon (first cut was made at 1:00 p.m.) should result in flow reductions at Nashville. An increase in flow release from J. Percy Priest Dam is scheduled for tomorrow morning; however, it will be smaller in magnitude than the earlier Old Hickory releases resulting in an overall reduction in flow for Nashville.


·         Clarksville is currently 14.78 feet above flood stage at 60.78 feet. The NWS forecast has a projected crest of 60.6 feet tomorrow. Flooding in Clarksville will persist for some time until the main river flows subside.

Update 1:00 p.m. Monday

NASHVILLE (WRCB) - Governor Phil Bredesen will tour flood-damaged areas of Madison County in West Tennessee and Davidson County in Middle Tennessee Monday. The Governor will brief the media this afternoon at Sipes Regional Airport in Jackson.

He and his staff will then travel to Nashville and brief media there at the Air National Guard 118th Airlift Wing, after an aerial tour of Davidson County.

Update 12:30 p.m. Monday

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - There are now a half-dozen known storm-related deaths in Nashville.

During a news conference late Monday morning, Police Chief Ronal Serpas noted six deaths from weekend flooding in the city.

Reports indicated the latest victim was an elderly man found in the yard at his home.

The added death brings to 12 the number of known deaths associated with the storms and resulting flooding across the state.

Most of the deaths were presumed drownings, but one came from a tornado in the western part of the state.

Update 8:55 a.m. Monday

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - At least 11 storm deaths are confirmed in Tennessee and more may be discovered.

The Cumberland River continues to rise at Nashville, but is nearing its crest. Floodwater has spilled onto a couple of downtown streets near the riverfront and restaurants and bars in the tourist district are closed.

All of about 1, 500 guests were evacuated overnight from the Opryland Hotel, northeast of the downtown area. Monday morning brought sunshine and a view of flooded parking lots around the hotel and adjacent venues. Water surrounded the Grand Ole Opry

House and the Opry Mills shopping mall.

Mayor Karl dean called on Nashville residents Monday to use water only for cooking and drinking because one of the city's two water treatment plants is flooded.

Downstream, Clarksville may have historic flood levels. The main street along the river is closed and two of the three bridges between downtown Clarksville and Fort Campbell are closed by the flooding Red River.

Original coverage

NASHVILLE (WSMV/WRCB) -- At least eight people died in widespread flooding around Nashville on Saturday.

Interstate 24 was closed at Bell Road Saturday night because of a massive amount of flooding on the roadway, killing one person there. 

About 70 cars on the interstate were submerged by the flood waters.

Two other people were killed in Stewart County from the flooding. One of the deaths was identified as Steve Zywicki, who died trying to save a woman from a flooded tributary of Hurricane Creek.

Another person died in Williamson County, and a fifth in Carroll County. The death in Williamson County occurred along Garrison Road, but the circumstances were unclear.  

In Nashville, emergency responders rescued 50 people from flooding, Mayor Karl Dean said at a news conference Saturday night. Police Chief Ronal Serpas said two police officers had to be rescued from a tree.

Nashville's Office of Emergency Management called for a partial activation of the Emergency Operations Center because of the severe weather.

Segments of Interstate 40 were closed between Nashville and Memphis. Pooling water in the median and along the sides of the highway gave some sections the appearance of a causeway.

Several roads were closed, and several people had to be rescued or evacuated from homes in just about every county in Middle Tennessee on Saturday.

As of 6 p.m. Saturday, 5.93 inches of rain had fallen in Nashville, which was the second greatest rainfall for one day in the city. The record rainfall total for one day in Nashville is 6.60 inches, which fell on Sept. 13, 1979.

The National Weather Service said up to 12 inches of rain had fallen along areas of Interstate 40 since midnight and up to 6 more inches was expected through Sunday.

Davidson County residents/motorists are urged to stay off the roadways due to potential flooding, especially secondary roadways. The Antioch High School prom and Fairview High School prom were canceled for Saturday.

Franklin police closed several roads around Cool Springs Galleria mall. Interstate 65 was closed was for a period of time just before Moores Lane in Franklin. Police report flood waters reached the entrances of several homes and businesses. Police advise residents to stay home and to not get out unless absolutely necessary.

Jeremy Heidt with the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency said the state's swift water action team were called to Williamson County to rescue a number of people from their homes due to rising flood waters.

Humphreys County recorded more than 10 inches of rain in some spots.

A shelter is open at Lipscomb University's student activity center, which will house 200 people. 

You can follow more on this developing story for our neighbors in Nashville by visiting the NBC affiliate,

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