Recovery efforts continue for Waverly flood survivors

Drone4 video shows the impact of flooding in Waverly, Tennessee, on Aug. 21, 2021.
Drone4 video shows the impact of flooding in Waverly, Tennessee, on Aug. 21, 2021.(WSMV)
Updated: Feb. 16, 2022 at 6:49 AM CST
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WAVERLY, Tenn. (WSMV) - Months after flooding killed 20 people in Humphreys County, the recovery efforts there continue.

Survivors say volunteers are still coming and the Church of Christ is still serving daily meals, but everything takes time, and even more volunteers are needed.

Some are finally getting back in their homes, but those homes are essentially construction sites right now.

The creek beds have trash and debris, even cars and sheds, in them.

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) is still working with Waverly residents as they prepare for other potential disasters.

TEMA’s director, Patrick Sheehan, says they work to guide the community and state on mitigation actions to make them more resilient.

This includes help with preparation and planning, figuring out where the vulnerable areas are, working with the General Assembly to address those areas and make sure they are organized for the next storm.

“When bad things happen, and it is a certainty that disasters will happen,” explains Sheehan. “…that we work well together, and we can get aid to those who need it as quickly as possible, and help communities recover and rebuild in a way that’s going to be strong for the future.”

As survivors work to get back home, they want others thinking about how they might plan for a flood like they endured.

“They should have a plan and, you know,” admits Gretchen Turner, a Waverly survivor. “If you have an opportunity to take a course on disaster preparedness I would really recommend that you do it. I will never put any important documents below 28 inches in my house.”

TEMA says in the last two years, more than $13.3 million has been provided to survivors and almost $40 million in public assistance to eligible organizations that have helped repair bridges and roads.

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