20 people dead after catastrophic flooding in Middle Tennessee

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WAVERLY Tenn. (WKRN) – The number of confirmed dead in the aftermath of extreme flooding in Humphreys County is up to 20 people, according to Humphreys County Chief Deputy Rob Edwards.

The damage, suffering, and loss Humphreys County and surrounding areas have experienced in the aftermath of disaster have been felt across Tennessee, as many are doing anything they can to help in the recovery.

The Humphreys County Sheriff’s Office reports at least 509 homes have been damaged or destroyed in the flooding.

Historic amounts of rainfall led to mass destruction and devastation. According to the National Weather Service, McEwen had 17 inches of rain.

Humphreys County officials originally said at least 22 people were killed. “Our current count has come down because of a mistake in how we were tallying our missing and deceased,” Waverly Police Chief Grant Gillespie explained on Tuesday.

Chief Gillespie said they put a new system into place to follow up on the list of fatalities. “It’s been a little hectic, a little chaotic, and new to a lot of us. We followed up on every individual one and confirmed each one yesterday, and our numbers are lining up with the state’s numbers at 18.”

Flood fatalities identified via family, obits or officials

  1. Kellon Borrow-Vaughn
  2. Linda Almond
  3. Lucy Lane Connor
  4. Nathanal Curtis
  5. Robert Scott Kilburn
  6. Rileigh Rigney
  7. Ryan Rigney
  8. Wayne Spears

The Reunification Center at McEwen High School has been officially closed after reuniting 139 families.

To request a welfare check for anyone who cannot get in touch with their loved ones. They ask that you the 911 Central Dispatch at 931-296-7792.

Damage assessment update

  • 271 homes destroyed
  • 160 homes with major damage
  • 28 homes with minor damage
  • 19 homes affected
  • 8 public facilities with damage
  • 44 commercial properties with damage

Humphreys County Sheriff Chris Davis was emotional as he addressed the media Tuesday afternoon. “You have to remember these are people we know; these are people’s families we know; these are people we grew up with; these are people of our small county, and it’s very close to us.”

Sheriff Davis said Tuesday he has a better grasp of the devastation after taking a helicopter ride with Tennessee Highway Patrol and Chief Gillespie. “We have well over 125 homes that are just gone – off the foundation, twisted, turned, or just gone.”

The sheriff believes there are hundreds of additional homes that have been impacted with some type of flood damage people will not be able to stay in.

“The sheer devastation that we saw in that helicopter ride yesterday has made me realize we’ve got an extremely long road to go in all of this,” Sheriff Davis continued.

Both have said they have a long list of agencies who have offered to help them maintain city and county operations, like responding to vehicle crashes or answering 911 dispatch calls. “Just because we may not call you back today or tomorrow, don’t forget about us. We’re going to need you next week and the weeks to come,” emphasized Sheriff Davis.

The 8 p.m. curfew remains in effect for the city and county.

A boil water advisory remains in effect for those utilizing the Waverly Water Supply, as service is restored to the area.

How to volunteer

Those wanting to volunteer with the cleanup and recovery are asked to call ahead. The volunteer hotline numbers are 931-888-8011 or 931-888-8012. Volunteers are asked to report to the staging area located at the Dollar Tree parking lot at 515 West Main St., Waverly, Tennessee.

The Waverly Animal Shelter is in need of foster parents for animals in the aftermath of flooding.

How to donate

Monetary donations can also be made through First Federal Bank in Waverly with the  Humphreys County Homeless Coalition fund.

Red Cross

All-day Wednesday News 2 is partnering with the American Red Cross to help people affected by the flooding in Tennessee. You can also donate here.

United Way

You can also text “FLOODRELIEF” to 269-89 or donate online to United Way of Humphreys County.

Help for flood victims

Tennessee Department of Homeland Security has deployed a mobile unit to help victims of the flood who lost their driver’s licenses. They are stationed at McEwen High School from 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

Paula Shaw with the department said, “As individuals apply for services, one of the first things they’ll be asked is proof of identification. We have learned from previous devastating incidents like this is the best way to reach the people is to go into the community and prepare for them.”

Governor Bill Lee announced Tuesday that FEMA funding has been approved. President Joe Biden declared Humphreys County a federal disaster area following the August 21 flooding. Individuals can apply online or call 1-800-621-3362.

TEMA has set up a crisis cleanup service for those who need help with debris removal and home cleanup. The services are free but not guaranteed due to the demand. Call the hotline at 615-338-7404.

The following shelters are open to assist flood victims:

  • Waverly Church of Christ, 438 West Main St., Waverly
  • First Baptist Church, 300 E. Main St. Waverly
  • Compassion Church,1452 Clydeton Rd, Waverly
  • YMCA of Dickson County, 225 Henslee Dr, Dickson
  • Fairfield Church of Christ, 1860 TN-100, Centerville 

Donation items collection and distribution centers

  • National Guard Armory, Highway 70, is accepting donations from the community and distributing supplies to those displaced
  • Humphreys County Agricultural Center accepting donations
  • James Center accepting donations
  • McEwen Church of Christ is distributing clothes, food water and cleaning supplies
  • Compassion Church in Dickson will also be accepting donations from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. all week long
  • Humphreys County Agricultural Center accepting donations
  • Donations for volunteers can be dropped off at Dollar Tree parking lot at 515 West Main St., Waverly
  • Alexander Chevrolet Buick GMC in nearby Dickson has started collecting household items and non-perishable foods

Wednesday night News 2’s Bob Mueller will be LIVE with community leaders for a look at the short-term and long-term plan for recovery in the area. Watch “Waverly Strong: A News 2 Town Hall Meeting” tomorrow night at 6:30.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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