One month after the Waverly flood, generosity still flows

waverly flooding
Posted at 4:34 PM, Sep 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-21 22:22:09-04

WAVERLY, Tenn. (WTVF) — Tuesday marked one month since floodwaters inundated the town of Waverly. Twenty lives were lost, dozens of homes and businesses the destroyed and almost every person impacted was forever changed.

Slowly but surely, debris is disappearing. “You come back around and you see a little bit more of it gone,” said Humphreys County Sheriff Chris Davis.

But for many, the recovery feels stuck in neutral. “I don’t ever see us being the same but it’s going to take a while,” said Sheriff Davis.

On that day, Rose Coffren stood on her front porch as everything in her neighborhood raced by. “I was watching homes move and then watching a vehicle just go. And it’s like, what is going on here?” said Coffren.

She was worried it might be her next. “I just made peace with God and I thought this is it right here. I’m not getting out of here,” said Coffren.

Coffren survived, but not her vehicle, making getting to work each day a serious roadblock.

That is, until a surprise that left her floored. “I feel like I’m going to cry,” said Coffren.

She’s one of ten recipients of a fund called 4 Wheels 4 Flood Victims. Independent journalist Burton Staggs is the wheeler and dealer of the operation. “We’ve spent days and hundreds of miles locating these cars,” says Staggs.

Sheriff Davis gets to play matchmaker. “I make sure it’s gonna go to somebody that’s not gonna pawn the title or do things like that,” he said.

Most of the money either came from strangers online or a Dickson County businessman who donated $100,000. All Burton asks for in return is a hug, which Coffren happily obliged. “It’s nice to see something besides the worst for once,” said Staggs.

Because while Waverly still has a long way to go, there are many reminders of what makes them strong.

“It shows you and sends us the message that there are good people, there are good things that are still happening,” said Sheriff Davis.

Sheriff Davis said they are still in need of volunteers to help with the cleanup. If you’re interested, you can sign up at the Volunteer Center next to the old Dollar Tree on West Main Street in Waverly.