U.S. News

Seven dead in Tennessee floods

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Severe storms and flash floods left seven people dead in Tennessee over the weekend as rising river waters closed portions of interstate highways leading in and out of Nashville.

The storms lifted levels of the Cumberland River that runs through Nashville as well as smaller tributaries and creeks.

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency asked the state’s Army National Guard on Sunday for assistance in rescue operations. There was no immediate report of injuries.

Nashville Mayor Karl Dean declared a state of emergency for the metropolitan area of Davidson County, where hundreds of people had been rescued from the raging waters and 45,000 people remained without power on Sunday.

“All of our major creeks and the Cumberland River are near flood level, if not at flood level. The ground is entirely saturated, and the rain continues to fall. There’s nowhere for the water to go,” Dean said in a statement.

More thunderstorms were expected in the region, and emergency officials were urging people not to travel unless absolutely necessary.

Reporting by Susan Kelly, editing by Philip Barbara