WAVERLY, TN (WSMV) - New surveillance video shows how a wet street in Waverly turned into a torrent of water in three minutes, smashing vehicles into each other and carrying a roof into the town.
News4 Investigates obtained the video as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers confirmed they were seeking more than $200,000 from the federal government to study how the flood happened and how to potentially prevent it in the future.
“I can share that the original request was for $93,000 to conduct the modeling study in Waverly, but its scope has been expanded to include the county at a cost of $206,465,” wrote Lee Roberts, Public Affairs Specialist with the Army Corps of Engineers.
In the strongest proof yet of why many people found themselves suddenly trapped on the day of the deadly flooding in Waverly, new surveillance video shows the speed and strength of surges of water.
The new video, previously only seen before by law enforcement, shows the section of Simpson and Commerce streets in Waverly at roughly 7:45 a.m. on Aug. 21.
The video shows the water was so shallow that someone easily walks across the street. A minute later, water is over the road, but a truck can still easily back up without problem. Then, a woman clearly begins to panic, running across the water, and the truck she is talking to quickly drives away.
Just down the street, Lindsey Daniel remembers that warnings were coming that a flood of water was approaching, but she did not panic.
“Every other flood we’ve had we had time to get our stuff and get out without rushing,” she said.
The video shows, three minutes after the woman can be seen running across the water, the street is now covered in a torrent of water.
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The force of the water floats one car, then another, down the street.
At her home, Daniel said the water was pouring into the house.
“The water was rising so fast that my husband had to bust out the back window just to let the water flow through so we weren’t trapped in there,” she said.
The video shows a yellow truck then washed up, slamming into the car. Soon all the vehicles are underwater.
The flood water is so strong that it tore houses apart, as entire roofs can be seen floating down the street.
Daniel remembers what a 911 operated advised her to do.
“All she was able to tell us is for everyone to grab onto something in case we had to get out of the roof,” she said.
As Daniel was preparing her family to have to float into the current, a metal tank can be seen washing down the street.
“I described it like someone took a sledgehammer and busting a dam,” she said.
Fortunately, Daniel and her family were rescued before they had to float into the water.