May 5th, 2010
06:17 PM ET

Tennessee death toll from heavy rain at 19

Heavy storms that have battered the Southeast since the weekend have caused at least 28 deaths, 19 of them in Tennessee.

The rain has been especially cruel to Tennessee, swelling rivers to historic levels, turning roads to lakes and flooding landmarks such as the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.

Parts of Tennessee had been so damaged by the floods that President Obama declared them major disaster areas, a designation that makes federal funding available to affected residents.

The state was expected to get a break from rain Wednesday.

"The next chance of precipitation is not until Friday and that doesn't look like much," said John Cohen, forecaster for the National Weather Service. "So we are very fortunate. Very fortunate indeed."

Many waterways, such as the Cumberland River, have risen well past flood level. On Tuesday night, the Cumberland, which flows through Nashville, was at 51.8 feet, 11.8 feet above flood stage, the National Weather Service said.

Some residents had little time to prepare for the waters that crashed into homes, washed away roads, prompted evacuations of hotels and displaced thousands of people.

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soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Oliver

    Dont give Freddie Mac any more money. I dont care if they go down.

    May 5, 2010 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  2. peyote

    Pat Robertson says the oil rig fire is god's punishment for all those lazy welfare recipients along the gulf who didn't participate in boobquake. long live the apartheid in arizona at least I have somewhere to go when obama ruins this country

    May 6, 2010 at 4:51 am | Report abuse |
  3. vijo

    Is FEMA money considered a bailout? Just curious? Any Tea Party members want to comment? Is FEMA too much government or is it ok whey YOU have a need and not others?

    May 6, 2010 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  4. Paul Lathom

    I was in Nashville Monday and Tuesday with my brother whose son and two schoolmates were swept up and slammed into and under a bridge by the rushing river. Once on the other side two were found and sent to the hospital and the third was never seen again. Please send out your prayers to the parents of this young man. They are from out of state, alone are in need of some hope and help. As of this morning the young man has not been found.

    May 6, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  5. leni bautista

    I have a daughter, Jeni Richard, and her husband Gordon Richard, who live in Nashville, Tennessee. The calamity that the whole neighborhood experience is underscribable. Panic, fear, and anxiety will best describe their situation. Inspite of this, they helped each other to go through this. Friends and strangers cling to each other and the enormous support is the best anyone can asked for.

    May 7, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Thomas

    The saddest commentary to me here is that while a car bomb WASN'T going off in NYC, and as oil was still leaking in the Gulf, nineteen of my neighbors lost their lives, and the national news media really didn't seem to give a damn. Anderson Cooper finally showed up four days later. I hope y'all never have anything happen during a busy news week.

    May 8, 2010 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |