National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
Lawrenceburg flash flood


Synoptic conditions near the surface and aloft, set the stage for serious flooding problems in Lawrenceburg. A strong cut off low, located west of Lawrenceburg, caused a series of thunderstorms to train or move across Lawrence county. These thunderstorms contained very heavy rains. Precipitable water values were in excess of 2 inches that evening. There was a strong 850 mb moisture convergence field, along with 300 mb divergence, and also Lawrence county was in the right rear quadrant of the jet stream. Nashville Doppler Radar estimated about 8 inches of rain at Lawrenceburg Monday night and early Tuesday morning. 4 inches of rain fell in about an hour at one point Monday night. The Lawrenceburg Filtration Plant received 8.76 inches in a 24 hour period ending 7 AM CDT Tuesday, July 14. The Filtration Plant is a cooperative observer site for Lawrenceburg.

Numerous roads were closed due to high water. There were 2 people killed and 20 injured. A 63 year old female was swept away in her car just east of David Crockett State Park on U.S. Highway 64 West bridge. The other fatality, a 74 year old male, was swept away in his car on U.S. Highway 43 bridge near the railroad trestle. The report of the fatalities was received at 1035 PM CDT from the emergency management office. 122 homes were damaged or destroyed, 13 mobile homes and several small bridges were swept away. 100 people had to be evacuated from their homes. 18 businesses sustained water damage. One home had 29 inches of water in it. The water and sewage plant was left inoperable, and residents had no water or bath facilities. Bottled water was distributed. Portable toilets were set up around town. Life was starting to return to normal on Saturday, July 18.


Lawrence County Flash Flood Photos
Bridge damage
This is a bridge on Shoal Creek just west of Lawrenceburg, TN. Its a little county route just downstream of US-64. All the drift you see in the picture washed under the US-64 bridge and got caught up on the county bridge. This flood was determined to be approximately a 100 year flood. The water overtopped that bridge by quite a bit. It was 20-30 feet deep during the actual event. But only for a very short duration.
There was a house just upstream that had been moved approximately 2 feet off its foundations. You can see by the washing machine debris that the flow velocity was very high. This branch overtopped US-64 east of Lawrenceburg.
US43 bridge
This bridge is Andrew Jackson Highway (US-43) just south of Lawrenceburg. You can see the tremendous amounts of bank erosion. The cones up above were for traffic control due to some debris clearing and repaving on a portion of the bridge. Except for some minor erosion on the approach pavement the bridge was undamaged. It was open to traffic after the water went down. Debris was found in the form of toys, golf clubs, and even a mattress was stuck up between the beams on the bottom of the bridge deck. The water was approximately 30' high. One man was killed here when his pick-up truck washed over the side. It ended up flipped around with the camper top on the bed wedged into the left span on the bridge upstream side (picture shows the downstream side). It took 2 days to get the truck out of there without damaging the bridge.
All photos and information courtesy of the Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center