WAVERLY, Tenn. (WTVF) — One year after the 2021 Waverly flood, survivors shared first-hand accounts at two emotional church services.
Hundreds gathered at Compassion Church to listen to the testimonies.
"Sitting in the service today, looking back at all the videos from everything that happened, it was very emotional. It was," said Michelle McCaleb, connections director at the church.
Waverly and surrounding communities in Humphreys County experienced a fierce, forceful, fatal flood on August 21, 2021. It killed 20 people and wiped out countless homes and businesses.
At back-to-back services on the date, a live band played over clips of flood damage. Praise and worship songs broke up the inspirational stories of survival.
One testimony from survivor Lora Triplett, the wife of a Waverly police officer, was especially powerful.
"He said, 'When I was in town, I could just hear screams and all I could think of was [that] it was y'all screaming for me and I couldn't get to you,'" said Triplett.
Despite the flood trapping Lora and her children in their home by Blue Creek, and her husband dying after coming down with COVID while helping rescue others, in her testimony, Triplett thanked the church community for helping her get a new home built.
It's the kind of resilience that church leaders have seen over and over again this past year.
"It just shows me there is a lot of love working. Our name is Compassion Church, and that's what we are, we are compassion," McCaleb said.