Triumph and tragedy: Waverly family reflects on loss as they slowly rebuild

Posted at 5:56 PM, Aug 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-18 23:30:27-04

WAVERLY, Tenn. (WTVF) — As the one-year anniversary of the Waverly flood approaches, survivors are reliving that tragic day.

Lora Triplett and four of her children were stuck in their house as the flood waters raged.

"My two middle sons, they got on the table, trying to stay out of the water, and as the house started breaking apart and dropping, one of the jars was so hard it bounced them off the table," Triplett said.

She felt helpless because she'd just had surgery, so her sons tried to help.

"He said, ‘Momma, I don’t think we can make it, the water came up more in the house,' so we just started praying, that was all we could do," Triplett said.

Eventually, they were rescued.

Meanwhile, her husband Waverly officer Greg Triplett, was busy working in town.

"Right after we had lost contact, he could just hear screams around town of the people, and he was a police officer. He had a job to do, but I kinda lost it. He got so emotional and he said, 'all I could think of was it was us screaming,'" Triplett said.

Cleanup efforts started immediately. Amid the chaos, there was a surge in COVID-19 cases. Greg got sick and later died from complications.

They were married nearly 30 years.

"Your perspective changes a lot when you lose everything. You think, 'My gosh we’re homeless. We have no clothes. We have no this or that.' Then when you lose a spouse, when you lose a daddy, a best friend, it’s like all that stuff didn’t even matter," Triplett said.

With her life in shambles, she's relied on her faith to get her through.

"You hear all the time that grief gets easier with time, but it doesn’t,” Triplett said,” You just learn how to deal with it."

As a single mom, she's taking it all in stride. They purchased a new property, and hopefully they’ll be able to rebuild soon.

"You see the tragedy, but then you see the triumph," Triplett said

Lora goes to Compassion Church. On Sunday, they will have a 9 a.m. and 11a.m. service for flood survivors. It's open to the public.

She has a Gofundme if you want to help her pay to build a new home.