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Woman watches from her roof as her mother was rescued from flooded home

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Posted at 8:45 PM, Aug 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-24 11:45:18-04

WAVERLY, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Waverly woman captured the jet ski rescue of her mother from a flooded house, as another neighbor survives being trapped in a floating house.

One Waverly neighborhood had several close calls Saturday as the floodwaters overtook the town. Amanda Maples took video of a jet ski rescue of her own mother after having to escape being trapped in her home.

Maples was trying to evacuate her pets when floodwaters rose quickly around her home on Sutton Avenue. The water came in through the windows and floors and she had to flee into the attic. There, she kicked out one side of the wall to see her mother's home also succumbing to water. That's when she climbed onto her roof.

"That's when I started worrying," said Maples. "That was my childhood home. So, I didn't really know where she could be in the house that she would be safe. I could see tables and tires and trees crashing into that front window."

Maples flagged down a pair of brothers who were evacuating residents with a jet ski. Rescuers were able to get Maples' mother out of her home and to safety. They rescued 15 people the day of the flood.

"Without people like them, we would have significant numbers, even more than the devastating number we have for the town that we live in," Maples said.

Maples reunited with a neighbor and friend who at one point some believed had drowned in the flooding.

Ginger Buchanan got trapped in her home with two of her dogs. When the floodwaters quickly rose, they jumped onto a bed. The levels rose so high at one point Buchanan was nearly pressed against the ceiling.

"It was dark and the water came up and covered the windows and it was completely dark," said Buchanan. "It would move enough where the light would just peak in a little at a time."

Buchanan didn't know it at the time, but the house had broken free of the foundation and was floating across the road. It eventually came to rest in an adjacent lot.

waverly house floated away
A home on Meridale Street was pickup by floodwater and floated across the street before coming to a rest in another lot.

Both Buchanan and Maples embraced in between their two homes upon seeing each other Monday afternoon.

They said they feel lucky.

"Our friends and family in town, so many are missing and so many have died saving others and being there for each other, it's heart-wrenching," said Maples.

She was lucky. As an employee at St. Thomas Health, her coworkers came together and started a GoFundMe page that's already raised $35,000 for her.

She said she hopes others will give to the many people who lost homes but don't have the money to rebuild.