Tennessee Flood: Latest Updates Show at Least 22 Dead, 20 Still Missing

by Jacklyn Krol

The Tennessee flood has left 22 people dead and another 20 missing.

On Saturday, August 21, flash floods took over Humphreys County in Tennesee, cause major destruction in the town of Waverly. The flood took out cellphone towers and telephone lines, which left families unable to contact their loved ones Emergency workers began to search door to door.

“I would expect, given the number of fatalities, that we’re going to see mostly recovery efforts at this point rather than rescue efforts,” Tennessee Emergency Management Director Patrick Sheehan told AP.

Furthermore, roughly 17 inches of rain fell in under a day. This beat the previous record for Tennessee’s one-day rainfall by over 3 inches. The damage to the Tennesee county was catastrophic. The sheriff revealed that he lost his best friend in the flood. A local father lost his twins who were swept away from his arms.

Unfortunately, the foreman at Loretta Lynn’s ranch, Wayne Spears, was killed.

“He’s out at his barn and next thing you know, he goes from checking animals in the barn to hanging on in the barn to people seeing him floating down the creek. And that’s how fast it had come up,” the sheriff explained.

Additionally, a person on social media took a photo of him in his cowboy hat grabbing onto a pillar with the water up to his chest.

“Wayne’s just one of those guys, he just does everything for everybody, if there’s a job to do,” his friend, Michael Pate, said.

Tennessee Devastation

Firstly, the local school district has canceled all of its classes for this week. Three schools were damaged by the raging floodwaters. It is unclear exactly which were impacted.

Secondly, there was one arrest for looting on Sunday. A person was trying to steal from a damaged store.

Thirdly, the town now has an 8 PM CT curfew.

“Stay off the roads except for essential travel,” Facebook update reads. “Law enforcement personnel will be stationed throughout town to prevent looting and trespassing. Traveling through town is interfering in emergency operations. Stay home.”

Finally, local officials have opened a reunification center at McEwen High School. It will be open between 7 AM and 5 PM daily and is located at 335 Melrose St. If you are out of town and have a loved one missing, please contact them at 931-582-6950.

“If you don’t have to come to Waverly, stay home. We’d rather ask you not to come into Waverly if you don’t have too,” the sheriff told News4.

For those that wish to help the county, you can donate essential items to displaced people through the National Guard Armory. People can also donate to the flood relief efforts in two ways. United Way set up a fund specifically for Waverly residents. The American Red Cross will also be providing aid.