Twenty-one people were dead and about 50 more were missing as heavy flooding hit parts of Tennessee on Saturday, officials said.
Two of the dead appeared to be twin toddlers who were swept away from their father, Humphreys County Sheriff Chris Davis told NBC affiliate WSMV of Nashville. He said the siblings’ bodies had been recovered.
Davis told the station that one of his best friends was also among the dead.
“He drowned in this,” Davis said, adding that he gets “emotional” if he slows down and talks about the disaster. “If I stay working and focused, we work through it.”
A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office said the flooding had killed at least 21 people. About 50 people were also missing, the spokesperson said, adding that the number was “constantly changing.”
The Humphreys County Emergency Management Agency said Sunday that search teams continued to look for victims in Waverly, about 75 miles west of Nashville, and elsewhere in the county.
Davis urged residents with missing loved ones to provide photos and other details.
Earlier, the Tennessee National Guard was activated to assist with water rescues.
“Soldiers and Airmen from the Tennessee National Guardsmen are supporting state, county, and local emergency responders assist the citizens of Humphreys County that have been impacted by the flash flooding on Aug. 21,” the guard tweeted.
The Humphreys County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that vehicles and buildings were damaged, as shown on social media.
The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency said in a statement: “Heavy rainfall has caused dangerous flooding in Middle Tennessee. ... The flooding situation in these counties is dangerous and evolving.”
The National Weather Service warned residents that up to 3 more inches of rain was expected in other counties in the area: “Please do not go out tonight if you do not have to. Flooding is especially dangerous at night.”