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Search for missing flood victims continues in Humphreys County after flood

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Posted at 8:36 AM, Aug 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-24 15:36:58-04

WAVERLY, Tenn. (WTVF)  — The Waverly Department of Public Safety has been updating the list of those who are still unaccounted for after Saturday’s flooding in Humphreys County. So far, 18 deaths have been confirmed.

In a call to Nick Beres on MorningLine, Humphreys County Sheriff Chris Davis confirmed they're still doing welfare checks on people who live outside of the town area. Davis said, while they're hopeful, there is a possibility that the death toll will go up over the next few days.

Watch the full conversation with Sheriff Davis below:

For families, a reunification center has been set up at McEwen High School. Anyone with missing person information or looking for a loved one is asked to meet at the school. It will be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday and Monday.

TEMA set up a phone line to reach the reunification center at 931-582-6950.

NewsChannel 5 spoke with Charline Bradley at the reunification center. She was there to report her sister-in-law missing after neighbors said they heard her yelling for help on Saturday.

Bradley's family also had to evacuate and lost everything.

“Our friends and our family and our people that we... is all that matters. There is nothing material that matters. Our town of Waverly has been devastated, and those are the things that I can't imagine. So in my devastation, I know that it's going to get better over time,” said Charline Bradley.

At least 18 people - many of the children - were killed when the rising waters tore through Humphreys, Hickman, Houston and Dickson Counties early Saturday morning. The City of Waverly was the hardest hit.

According to the police and fire chief, the City of Waverly has lost more in this event than the train explosion in 1978.

The National Weather Service says up to 17 inches of rain fell in Humphreys County in less than 24 hours Saturday, triple the forecast and shattering the Tennessee record for one-day rainfall.

An 8 p.m. curfew will be in effect in the coming days in Waverly. Local law enforcement officials said there have been problems with looting, and they want to make sure people feel as safe as possible. Officers from across the area will help enforce the curfew.


WHAT TO DO IF YOU NEED HELP

If you've been affected by the flooding, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) says a resource page is available here. A help line is also available at 615-338-7404 for flood survivors to request volunteer clean-up assistance.

If your home was severely damaged or destroyed, you can reach out to the American Red Cross for assistance by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, you can call 855-CRISIS-1 (855-274-7471) to speak with a trained mental health professional, 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week. You can also text TN to 741741.


HOW YOU CAN HELP

  • The Humphreys County Sheriff's Office said anyone who would like to donate items to those displaced from their homes can go to the National Guard Armory in Waverly. It is located at 1421 US-70.

More information: How to help victims of Saturday's devastating floods

Gifts made to the Tennessee Emergency Response Fund will help families impacted by the severe storms and flooding. Grants will be made to nonprofits providing vital services both immediate and long-term. CFMT’s work helps free nonprofits up to concentrate on delivering services while the organization “connects generosity with need” and our community sets out to rebuild lives.

*Editor's Note: The original death count was reported as 22, but officials in Humphreys County said there was an error in how the way the number of deaths/missing was being tracked. They corrected the number to 18 deaths.