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FEMA looks at new retrofitted boot factory for Waverly schools

Waverly Flood
Posted at 5:17 PM, Jul 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-28 23:17:17-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF)  — Federal Emergency Management Agency officials toured Waverly on Thursday nearly a year after floodwaters ravaged the small town west of Nashville.

A year ago Aug. 21, mud and debris caked the hallways of Waverly Junior High, leaving a trail of devastation not only there but all over town.

FEMA agents walked the grounds of the new location for students that's temporary — the former ACME Boot Factory, which is being retrofitted with federal grant money. Both elementary and middle school students will start attending there for the spring semester. Individual schools will eventually be rebuilt, but not in the same places.

"Schools like this, or efforts like this right here, this is hope," said Deanne Criswell, a FEMA Administrator. "This is a great example of the whole of society Approach of coming together and meeting the needs of this community, and providing a school for elementary and middle schoolers."

As a result of the flood, 20 people were killed. Between 9 to 17 inches of rain fell within a 6-hour time period. In some areas of Humphreys County, 17 inches of rain was recorded that day, shattering the state's 24-hour rainfall record.

"You have these really tragic events, but it really brings out the best in everybody in that community, the neighbors, helping neighbors, making sure that we are understanding what their needs are, and helping each other on the road to recovery," Criswell said.