At least 10 people have died and 31 remain missing in severe flooding in Tennessee

Severe flooding in Tennessee has left at least 10 people dead in Humphreys County. - WSMV

Originally Published: 21 AUG 21 21:26 ET

Updated: 22 AUG 21 00:13 ET

By Andy Rose and Alaa Elassar, CNN

    (CNN) -- At least 10 people, including two toddlers, have died during severe flooding in Tennessee on Saturday, Humphreys County Sheriff Chris Davis told CNN affiliate WSMV.

As of Saturday night, 31 people were still missing, Davis told WSMV.

The bodies were recovered after catastrophic flash flooding near Waverly closed US-70, the city's main highway, and placed the community under a boil water advisory, according to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA).

Waverly is located in Humphreys County about 60 miles west of Nashville.

A reunification center was open Saturday night to assist people who are still searching for loved ones.

Earlier in the evening, Humphreys County Emergency Management sent out an advisory saying, "PLEASE DO NOT TRAVEL INTO THE CITY OF WAVERLY."

TEMA has activated a level 3 state of emergency due to the devastating flooding, urging anyone in Middle Tennessee to avoid driving or crossing flooded roads and walkways.

As of Saturday evening, about 10,000 people were without power in Hickman, Houston, and Humphreys counties and part of Dickson County, TEMA said.

The Tennessee National Guard said it is deploying nearly 50 soldiers to respond to the severe flooding.

"Our first priority is to assist with getting responders access to the area and conduct rescue operations," Maj. Gen. Jeff Holmes said in a tweet.

A flash flood emergency was declared for portions of west-central Tennessee after very heavy rain and thunderstorms continued to fall over the same locations since Friday night.

At least 15 inches of rain fell in McEwen, appearing to break the previous record for 24-hour rainfall in Middle Tennessee, according to the National Weather Service of Nashville.

Meanwhile, an estimated 10 inches to 12 inches of rain fell across Dickson, Hickman, Houston and Humphreys counties -- leading to the dangerous flash flooding that covered roads, damaged residential areas and activated search and rescue operations, TEMA said in an update Saturday night.

The state National Guard said it sent a Blackhawk helicopter to the scene to assist with water rescues. Tactical vehicles and Humvees are also being used in rescue operations.

On Sunday, the state's health department will send crisis counseling teams to the impacted areas to help survivors and first responders, TEMA noted.

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