This article appeared in the August 25, 2021 edition of the Monitor Daily.

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After weekend flooding, Tennesseans step up to help

Andrew Nelles/The Tennessean/AP
Jaquita Buchanan works on salvaging items from her mother's flood-damaged home in Waverly, Tennessee, Aug. 23, 2021. Her mother escaped from the home safely, but her stepfather died while assisting a neighbor. As much as 17 inches of rain hit Humphreys County Aug. 21, causing floodwaters to surge and killing 18 people.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee described the aftermath of flooding in Humphreys County, which left 19 dead Saturday, as tragic: “Homes washed off their foundations, cars strewn about the community. It is a devastating picture of loss and heartache.” 

But the portraits of heartache are also colored with hues of courage, compassion, and resilience. 

As floodwaters rose Saturday, courage flowed. Two brothers on a jet ski shuttled 15 people to safety, including Amanda Maples of Waverly, who was rescued from her roof.  

And in the aftermath, Tennesseans are responding with generosity. 

• The Mount Juliet High School football team – which lost its athletic facilities in a tornado last year – is sending equipment to the Waverly High School football team. “One [thing] that helped us was trying to get our guys back to some sense of normalcy as soon as possible. For nothing else, it takes their mind off of what they’re going home to,” Mount Juliet coach Trey Perry told WKRN-TV in Nashville.

• On Monday, Kelley Porter gave a secondhand Toyota Matrix to Kirstin Wiggins, a mother of four, who lost everything. “God is good and there are still good people out there,” Ms. Wiggins told WKRN-TV.

• Even as state and local relief agencies arrived, people dropped off fresh produce and canned food at the Waverly Cafe, and the owners fired up a grill outside and offered free burgers Monday afternoon.

Waverly resident Chelsea Christman turned her home into a donation hub. “That’s what we do here,” she told The Tennessean. “We take care of each other. We pitch in and help care for one another when they’re in need.”

This article appeared in the August 25, 2021 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 08/25 edition
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