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Suit blames railroad bridge clog in deadly Tennessee floods

220406 TENN FLOODS AUG 21 RAINFALL MAP.jpg
NWS
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NWS radar estimated 24-hour rainfall over western Middle Tennessee Aug. 21, 2021.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Ten families are suing CSX Transportation for up to $450 million over flooding that killed 20 people in Tennessee last year, claiming a clog underneath the railroad giant’s bridge in rural Waverly allowed a “deadly tidal wave” to form.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in circuit court in Humphreys County claims the bottlenecked culvert and the earthen railbed supporting CSX’s elevated tracks formed a man-made dam, impeding the normal flow of Trace Creek.

The lawsuit says the railbed collapsed, releasing a “a torrent of millions of gallons of water” during the August 2021 floods.

A CSX spokesperson said its tracks and related infrastructure are maintained and regularly inspected in accordance with CSX policies, which meet or exceed federal regulations.