WAVERLY, TN (WSMV) - With students still missing and people just beginning to pick up the pieces from Saturday’s flood, Humphreys County Director of Schools Richard Rye is cancelling classes for the entire week.

“I know we found one this afternoon, so it’s rough,” Rye said Sunday. “Right now, I don’t even know when we could go back to school.”

As of Monday morning, 22 people are confirmed dead and at least 20 still missing after 17 inches of rain fell on the town of Waverly in less than 24 hours, causing devastating flooding.

Rye barely escaped the flood waters himself. He was trapped on the roof of Waverly Junior High as the rushing waters tore through the building.

“We had helicopters coming by, boats coming by, and we said y’all go to somebody else. We were fine. We were safe,” Rye said. “But to see some of the elderly and kids, like I said, I’m numb.”

Rye said parts of several buildings are in shambles. Half of the school buses are not operational.

But that’s small compared to what this community is going through.

“Right now, I’m not worried about the schools,” Rye said. “We’ll rebuild, we’ll clean them. We’ll do what we’ve got to do to get our kids back to school, but right now we’re worried about our kids.”

Saturday’s deadly flood in Humphreys County lifted pavement off the ground. The power of the water moving a storage shed to a nearby creek.

McEwen High School has now become a reunification center. Thirteen-year-old Allen Butler knew he had to stop by and give.

People came out in droves, donating what they could, like Jesse Beilig with Dickson Masonic Lodge #468.

“Through those donations of various lodges here in Dickson County, we were actually able to give four truckloads of everything from water to baby food, basic hygiene supplies, really all of the essential needs people are going to need after a tragedy like this,” Beilig said.

If you would like to donate, the reunification center at McEwen High, located at 335 Melrose St., will be open from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. on Monday.


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