‘It’s coming through my back door.’ 911 calls reveal terror as floodwaters swept through Humphreys Co.

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Posted at 8:16 AM, Aug 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-24 20:50:10-04

WAVERLY, Tenn. (WTVF)  — Newly released 911 calls reveal the chaos and terror as floodwaters swept through Humphreys County over the weekend.

At least 18 people in Humphreys County have died after heavy rain caused catastrophic flooding on Saturday morning. NewsChannel 5 has obtained some of the 911 calls made by residents who became trapped by the rising water and were desperate for help.

Dispatcher: "911 what's the address of your emergency?"

Caller: "Yes, ma'am I live at... in McEwen, Tennessee. I'm kinda stuck in my house is flooded and I need help getting out... it's all coming in from my back door. My whole house is fixing to get flooded and I can't get out."

Dispatcher: "How many people are in your house? Just you and your dog?"

Caller: "Just me and my dog, yes. I mean, I can't even get out. I need help please."

Dispatcher: "We're gonna get help to you, OK?"

Caller: "Thank you."

One caller can be heard telling dispatchers, "I need someone to come. It's coming through my back door."

In another call, a dispatcher can be heard telling a caller to "shelter in the highest point you can get to in the residence, the highest point you can get to in the residence."


To make matters worse, the flooding also affected cell phone service in Humphreys County. Bobby Brown, director of Humphreys County Emergency Communications, said while the 911 center did not receive any damage, the loss of service was due to AT&T services being destroyed.

Brown said they were able to return to service within 30-45 minutes using cell phones and having the 911 calls transferred to them.

According to the National Weather Service, the weekend flooding in Humphreys County is the deadliest flooding event in the Mid-State. Humphreys County was pummeled with up to 17 inches of rain in less than 24 hours over the weekend, shattering the state record for one-day rainfall by more than 3 inches.

*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.