USA – Flooding Prompts Emergency Rescues in Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee

A state of emergency was declared in Washington County, Indiana, on Friday 19 May after severe flooding damaged buildings and inundated roads. The Blue River at Salem reached record levels.

Heavy rainfall of up to 5 inches (127 mm) fell in a short period of time during the evening of 19 May. The National Weather Service issued a flash flood emergency for all or parts of Washington, Jefferson, Clark and Scott counties.

Some residents evacuated after officials announced a voluntary evacuation order for some areas of the county, in particular Salem, which was among the worst hit.

The Salem Fire Department was called on to carry out flood water rescues. The department said via Social Media, “The City of Salem and Washington Co is currently under a state of emergency please stay home do not get out to “sight see” there are multiple emergency service crews working in multiple locations.”

Levels of the Blue River at Salem reached record heights of 20.15 feet in the early hours of 20 May, beating previous highs of 17.1 feet set during May 2004.

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Kentucky and Tennessee

NWS Louisville says that parts of Kentucky recorded between 4 and 5 inches of during a 24 hour period to 20 May.

Some flooding was reported in Magoffin County and Allen County, where emergency teams carried out flood water rescues at a daycare centre near Scottsville.

Severe weather also affected parts of northern Tennessee, with hail, strong winds and heavy rainfall reported on Friday 19 May.

Local media reported that emergency crews had responded to several water rescues, with some involving school buses, in Sumner County.

Flood Summary

Last updated: May 22, 2017
Event
Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee, USA, May 2017
Date
May 19 to May 22, 2017
Type
Flash flood
Cause
Extreme rainfall

Locations

A - Salem
B - Scottsville
C - Sumner County

Magnitude

River level
6.14 metres
Blue River at Salem, Indiana - May 19 to May 21, 2017
Levels of the Blue River at Salem reached record heights of 20.15 feet in the early hours of 20 May, beating previous highs of 17.1 feet set during May 2004.
Rainfall level
127 mm in 24 hours
Allen County, Kentucky - May 19 to May 20, 2017

Damages

Rescued
40 people
May 19 to May 21, 2017
estimated figure