ERIN, Tenn. (WTVF) — The family of one of the Waverly flood victims will plant roses in her memory.
During the flooding, Amber Newman was working her first shift as the interim manager at Dollar General when the water came pouring into the store.
Amber's father, Jeff Newman, said she was on top of a freezer trying to survive before she was swept away. In the parking lot, cars and debris were everywhere. Bottles and store items sat in flood water at the Waverly Plaza. Jeff Newman said, "The whole thing is difficult."
Twenty people died in the flooding. "We grieve too for the families down there," Newman said.
Before her promotion, Amber worked at the Dollar General in Erin, Tennessee. Jeff said Amber was excited for her promotion and had a 10-year plan. She aspired to work for Dollar General corporate one day in human resources.
In the small town, Amber was known for greeting everyone with a smile on her face. Newman said, "and ask them how they’re doing, and if she didn’t believe their answer, she’d ask them again… how are you really doing? Folks will just open up to her, she was easy to talk to."
He said Amber's faith in God was important to her, and she loved dogs and geese. She never met a stranger. Newman said, "She loved them, she genuinely cared about them."
One of those strangers made a photo of Amber with flowers around it. Newman said, "Red roses were her favorite.”
Her middle name was Rose, too. That's why her family is going to plant roses in the spring to honor her memory. "Our eldest daughter when she gets moved, she’s going to go all out, and have just a small sanctuary," Newman said.
As they grieve, Jeff hopes roses will remind the Erin community of Amber's joyful spirit. Newman said, "They’ve really rallied around us with love and support.”