Mississippi business helping Tennessee flood victims after employee’s tragic loss

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SOUTHAVEN, Miss. — A Southaven business is rallying around one of their own after a devastating flood in Middle Tennessee left 20 dead and two missing. 

Among the dead is 2-year-old Kellen Burrow, whose family was holding out hope he would be found alive. 

One hundred sixty-four miles separate Southaven, Mississippi and Waverly, Tennessee, but a tragedy now brings the two towns together. 

Donations are pouring in at Southaven RV & Marine, after a fundraiser was started to support one of their employees and others dealing with the impact of the flood in Middle Tennessee.

“We’re just here to try to help,” said Larry Riggs, sales manager at Southaven RV and Marine. “We have a heart. We’ve been in this community forever, we’re family-owned and just want to do something for the people.”

This week, WREG spoke with Chris Hixson, an employee at Southaven RV whose grandson was among the dozen missing. 

Kellen Burrow-Vaughn

That search came to an end Wednesday after the body of Kellen Burrow was discovered.

“It’s traumatic,” Riggs said. “My goodness, I’ve got six grandchildren myself so I can never imagine what they’re going through.”

News of the discovery inspired Virginia Sanderson to come out and donate.

“I cried because, you know, I keep a 2-year-old and I just can’t imagine what the parents and grandpa are going through right now. It’s very heartbreaking,” she said.

While a tragedy has brought the two communities together, organizers want Middle Tennessee to know they are not forgotten.  

“It’s just a terrible situation so you want closure, you want them to get back to having normal life and anything we can do to assist with that is great,” Riggs said.

You can help

If you’d like to assist by dropping off supplies at the business, Southaven RV & Marine is at 5485 Pepper Chase Drive. They are accepting donations through Thursday evening. Commonly requested items are bottled water and non-perishable items.

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