At least 22 people have been killed as rescue crews searched shattered homes and tangled debris for dozens of people still missing after record-breaking rain sent floodwaters surging through the US state of Tennessee.

Flooding in rural areas took out roads, mobile phone towers, and telephone lines, leaving families uncertain about whether their loved ones survived the unprecedented deluge. Emergency workers were searching door to door, said Kristi Brown, a coordinator for health and safety supervisor with Humphreys County Schools.

Many of the missing live in the neighbourhoods where the water rose the fastest, said Humphreys County Sheriff Chris Davis, who confirmed the 22 fatalities. The names of the missing were on a board in the county’s emergency centre and listed on a city department’s Facebook

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