UPDATE: Strong current delays divers checking on car found in Cumberland River – Clarksville Now

Update, 1:20 p.m.: Strong currents in the Cumberland River and cold weather are making conditions too dangerous for divers to continue recovery attempts for now, according to EMA Director Ed Baggett.

“We think we probably have found the vehicle. We’re not positive, but we’re pretty sure we’re in the right location,” Baggett told Clarksville Now.

“Right now we’re waiting on the current of the river. If we can get the current slowed down – but of course the dams are wide open. We’re waiting for them to shut the dams down so the current will slow,” he said.

Rain is expected across Middle Tennessee tonight, according to the National Weather Service forecast, and the Army Corps of Engineers adjusts the dams to ensure there’s enough reservoir capacity.

But the temperature could also present a problem, with lows tonight and Thursday near freezing.

“With the temperatures being so cold, it’s a little risky putting divers in to go down and locate a vehicle. So we’ll be monitoring the temperatures along with the current of the river, and as soon as we can, we’ll be putting divers in,” Baggett said.


CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (CLARKSVILLENOW) – Rescue crews believe they’ve found the car that crashed into the Cumberland River Tuesday night.

“We’re still trying to confirm that we possibly have found it,” Ed Baggett, EMA director, told Clarksville Now. “We do have people on the river this morning trying to make sure that we’ve located it.”

Crews search the Cumberland River for a car on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020. (CPD, Contributed)

Clarksville Fire Rescue boats were in the water Wednesday at 9 a.m.

Clarksville Police have the river-side lane of Riverside Drive blocked off for emergency vehicles.

Just before 6 p.m. Tuesday, witnesses reported seeing a vehicle leave the roadway and enter the Cumberland River near Riverside Drive and West Washington Street, just north of the RJ Corman Bridge, according to Police Detective Michael Patterson.

Clarksville Police, Clarksville Fire Rescue, Montgomery County Rescue Squad, and Montgomery County EMS were involved in the search until about 10 p.m. Tuesday, when it was called off until morning.

Crews search the Cumberland River for a car on Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020. (CPD, Contributed)

No further information was available.

This article will be updated. 

Lee Erwin contributed to this report. 


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