(NEW YORK) — Major flash flooding in parts of southern Missouri took residents by surprise Thursday morning, with some waking up to find water up to their necks.
Hollister Fire Chief Chris Behrnt said it happened in an instant.
“The water came up so fast that the people were hanging onto trees and on top of mobile homes. We couldn’t warn them,” Behrnt told ABC News Radio.
He said people were surprised at how quickly the rain came down.
“These little creeks that can be just so calm and normal for years and years and years, can turn very bad just very quickly,” he notes.
Behrnt said the flooding prompted a few rescues. Some mobile homes also washed away.
Meanwhile, in Tennessee, heavy rain caused widespread flash flooding in Nashville overnight. Several homeowners there also had to be rescued.
“Right now we’re looking at over 35 rescues. But now when I say over 35 that’s not the number of people. There might have been five people in one removal or rescue,” Assistant Fire Chief Charles Shannon told ABC News Radio.
The flooding also left many motorists stranded on water-covered highways.
“There were actually people that were driving on some of our other highways that just tried to drive through some high water area on the road and they were trapped and we had many of those,” Shannon said.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Brian Vitigliano, Holly Yan and Joshua Berlinger, CNN
Dan Berman, CNN