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Heavy rain from Ida makes for tricky commute across Middle Tennessee

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Posted at 6:52 AM, Aug 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-31 15:10:34-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Heavy rain from Tropical Depression Ida has prompted a Flash Flood Watch for Middle Tennessee and caused a traffic headache for many drivers early Tuesday morning.

At least two crashes on Interstate 24 snarled traffic for many drivers, including NewsChannel 5’s Amy Watson, who got stuck behind a wreck involving an overturned semi in Robertson County.

Further south, I-24 drivers were stalled near Bell Road after a single-vehicle crash prompted a brief closure.

I-24 East between Haywood Lane and Bell Road was closed for hours due to a deadly crash. Metro police said a driver lost control of his vehicle and hit a concrete retaining wall, then went back into the eastbound lanes and was hit by a pickup truck.

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The driver, identified as 29-year-old David Avent, was killed. Metro police said a preliminary contributing factor for the crash was Avent's speed being too fast for the road conditions.

Williamson County also reported a water rescue shortly before 5:30 a.m. The emergency management agency said the person was rescued while clinging to a tree after trying to drive across a creek. The vehicle was swept away and located 1/2 mile away.

TIPS FOR DRIVING IN RAINY WEATHER

According to AAA, spring and summer showers on wet pavement contribute to nearly 1.2 million traffic crashes each year.

  • Avoid cruise control: This feature works great in dry conditions, but when used in wet conditions, the chance of losing control of the vehicle can increase.
  • Slow down and leave room: Slowing down during wet weather driving can be critical to reducing a car’s chance of hydroplaning.

Drivers should reduce their speed to correspond to the amount of water on the roadway. To reduce chances of hydroplaning, drivers should slow down, avoid hard braking or turning sharply and drive in the tracks of the vehicle ahead of you.

Responding to a skid:

Even careful drivers can experience skids. If you feel your car begin to skid, it’s important to not panic and follow these basic steps:

  • Continue to look and steer in the direction in which the driver wants the car to go.
  • Avoid slamming on the brakes as this will further upset the vehicle’s balance and make it harder to control.

Also watch out for downed trees and power lines. With the ground heavily saturated, you need to also pay attention to trees around homes, which can easily fall.