Liberty Nation GenZ: News For Kids

News and Current Events Through the Lens of America’s Founding Principles

🔍 Search

Storms in Tennessee and Northeast Cause Floods

Tropical Storm Henri sweeps across New England, while Tennessee faces its own extreme weather.

By:  |  August 23, 2021  |    599 Words
ocean in a storm

Storm Henri

The Northeast of America was struck by Storm Henri on Sunday, August 22, bringing heavy rain and strong winds. The tropical storm hit New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and other states in and around the New England area. In Rhode Island and Massachusetts, thousands of people were left without electricity as Henri brought record rainfall. Areas of New Jersey were affected by floods as nine inches of rain came down in the early morning.

In Monroe Township, New Jersey, police officers soon jumped in the water to rescue residents from the floods. “We got on shift at 6 a.m. and by 6:10 a.m. we were already on the road assisting with water rescues,” said Officer Nicholas Lafata.

More than 55 million people were under hurricane and tropical storm warnings over the weekend, with some taking steps like boarding up their houses to prevent damage, as well as stocking up on supplies. National Guard troops were sent to help manage the weather situation, and President Joe Biden approved a state of emergency for the region.

An aerial view of flooded streets is seen as Tropical Storm Henri hit east coast. (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

It’s rare for a tropical storm to land heavily in the New England area, as they normally form close to the equator, where the sea temperature is warmer. Originally forecast to be a hurricane, Henri was downgraded to a “tropical storm” but still caused plenty of destruction.

Flooding in Tennessee

While Tennessee was not in the line of Storm Henri, it has experienced flash floods after 9-17 inches of rain fell in just a few hours. Normally, that amount of rain falls over three or four months – but this time it all came down in just a few hours.

Sadly, more than 20 people have been killed in the floods. Chief Deputy Teddy Murphy, in Dickson County, said the sudden flooding destroyed houses and roads. In the city of Waverly, Police and Fire Chief Grant Gillespie stated that floods had damaged homes, schools, and other infrastructure. The weather also blocked cell phone signals, so people had trouble getting in touch with their loved ones.

Hope Collier and her grandmother, who live in the area, were too late to avoid a flood. Their car was washed away and found later, in a tree. Collier was swept away in the powerful current of the water and carried for more than half a mile. She managed to escape and later described the experience as being like “a roller coaster with no rules.”

A view of the damage after heavy rain and devastating floods in Waverly, Tennessee. (Photo by Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Casey Hipshire lost her house in the flooding. She told reporters that she woke up to find water rising. “Then it just came so fast, and I packed a bag as quick as I could for all of [the family],” she said. “Next thing I know, the water’s in my house and it’s up to my chest.”

“My house fell off the foundation while were still in it, so we had to break the window in the kitchen and crawl out of it and get up on the roof as fast as we could,” she recalled.

State agencies have responded to help deal with the crisis and rescue stranded people. Churches are also helping out by opening as shelters, and other community members are volunteering to help, too.

Try a quiz based on this story here!

Behind the News

Digging Deeper