WAVERLY, Tennessee (WKRN) – Heavy rains and storms hit the counties of Dickson, Hickman, Houston and Humphreys in mid-Tennessee on Saturday.
The death toll in Humphreys County has now reached 20, according to Humphrey County Sheriff Chris Davis.
Sheriff Davis confirmed Monday afternoon that after flying in a helicopter with the Tennessee Highway Patrol, they discovered at least 100 other homes that had been driven from their foundations. He described it as “an island surrounding trapped people we didn’t know”.
During a press briefing earlier today, the sheriff said the missing persons list fluctuates up and down depending on when officers are able to conduct welfare checks.
On Monday at 5:50 p.m., 12 people are missing. However, if someone calls them saying a loved one is missing or missing, they will add that name to the list until they can perform a wellness check.
“The devastation caused by this incident begins about half a mile outside McEwen, around Durham Lane and continues until we call Trace Creek and Denver Hill,” Sheriff Davis said of a 13 kilometer area. âWe’re not talking about people whose homes are just flooded. I am talking about the houses that are moved from the foundation. I’m talking about houses that people can’t even get into because the floors are gone or their cars are gone. It’s just gone.
He pointed out that for the county’s population of 19,000, they have been hit extremely hard. Sheriff Davis encouraged people to call dispatch if they need to do a welfare check. This number is (931) 296-7792.
âRight now our people need help,â Sheriff Davis said, adding that several surrounding agencies and state agencies like THP and TWRA have stepped in to help overnight.
The Humphreys County Homeless Coalition opened an account with the First Federal Bank in Waverly. You can deposit donations for flood victims and request that they be deposited into this account. Waverly Police Chief Grant Gillespie said this was the main place they were also asking people and organizations to donate.
Chief Gillespie said crooks were already hitting the town to offer home repairs. He encouraged homeowners to do their research before making payment for repairs.
Tennessee Highway Patrol has announced it will help people who lost their IDs in the floods. They will be installed at McEwen High School.
Nashville National Weather Service warning coordinator meteorologist Krissy Hurley confirmed with News 2 that Saturday is now the deadliest flood event in average Tennessee history.
One of the hardest hit areas has been the town of Waverly in Humphreys County. Mayor Buddy Frazier said most of the people he spoke to felt totally caught off guard by the precipitation. âIt was something like the speed of a tornado, I guess. Someone described it as a tidal wave.
A boil water alert is currently in place for Waverly as its water treatment facility remains offline. Schools in Humphreys County will be closed for the remainder of the week with reports of around 40 to 50 school buses damaged by flood water.
Waverly officials also released a partial list of those missing in the area.
Tennessee Governor Bill Lee visited the affected area on Sunday afternoon. Lee was joined by U.S. Senators from Tennessee Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty, Adjutant General of Tennessee, Major General Jeff Holmes, Director of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency Patrick Sheehan and Commissioner Clay Bright of the Tennessee Department of Transportation.
At a press briefing on Sunday afternoon, Lee said details regarding the impact of the flooding were still pending. âThere is still a lot to know about the end results. But what we do know is that it is incredibly difficult, and our hearts and our prayers must be for these communities, for these people in this community, many of them who have suffered not only the loss of their homes. and their property, but the loss of family and friends.
Total precipitation ranged from 9 to 17 inches over a 6 hour period on Saturday morning and another round of severe weather affected the same area on Saturday evening.
Several bridges and roads in the affected area remain closed. Telecommunications and electricity services are gradually being restored. Local and state staff continue to work with flood survivors on reunification.
A level 3 state of emergency is currently active in Tennessee.
Sunday afternoon, President Biden tweeted his support for Tennessee after deadly floods, âI send my deepest condolences on the sudden and tragic loss of life due to the flash floods in Tennessee. We have reached out to the community and will offer any help they need at this terrible time, âBiden wrote.
Lee spoke of the president expressing interest in helping. âWe will prepare a request for a declaration of emergency federal emergency assistance. So these talks are taking place right now and this request for assistance will occur. “
Donations can be made to Tennessee Emergency Response Fund set up by the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.
The governor added that these initial assessments would be carried out in the coming days.