HUMPHREYS COUNTY, Tenn. (WZTV) — Many Tennesseans have shown their true Volunteer spirit in the wake of utter devastation left behind from historic floods in the midstate this weekend.
Officials now say the needs of victims, particularly in Humphreys County, are "tremendous" and are asking those able to step in and help. Scroll to the bottom of this story for a list of how to give and get help.
At least 18 people were killed when a record 17.02 inches of rain fell in a 24-hour period in Humphreys County. Many people remain missing and efforts to locate those residents is ongoing.
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Waverly Police Chief Grant Gillespie said the loss of life would've been much higher if it wasn't for people coming to the city and making rescues on their own.
Humphreys County Sheriff Chris Davis became emotional when speaking about the desperation he felt trying to get to people trapped in their homes, or floating down the county in flood waters.
Sheriff Davis said the rainfall was "very fast coming up...it put Waverly on an island for a little while. It took me five hours to get here from McEwen and that's 8 miles, 10 miles down the road."
"It's almost like a mom not being able to get to her kid," Sheriff Davis said.
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Afterwards, volunteers and donations made their way to Humphreys County in troves. Sheriff Davis asks folks to have patience as there is a lot of work to get done and they're continuing to update their operational efforts.
“We’ve had a sensory overload of assets and stuff coming in," Sheriff Davis said. "We’re asking some our assets to be patient with us...We couldn’t be where we are right now if it weren’t for them.”
There's no official estimation about the cost of damages, but Chief Gillespie said it's "in the millions."
TEMA Director Patrick Sheehan said the best way to help right now is through monetary donations. This was echoed by Gov. Bill Lee and Senators Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty.
Sen. Hagerty said he was touched by the number of first responders from across the state who came out to help. He says there's still more to do and asks those able to donate to reputable organizations.
Sen. Blackburn also said Homeland Security is waiting and ready to give help if its needed.
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Donations can be made to the the Tennessee Emergency Response Fund, coordinated by the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.
United Way has set up a fund to assist those affected by the floods. Text FLOODRELIEF to 269-89 to make a donation, donate on Facebook at @uwhumphreys and online here.
The National Guard Armory at 1421 US-70 in Waverly is in need of water, non-perishable items and cleaning supplies. It will be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday as a receiving and distribution center. Flooding victims can also get items from this facility. Officials ask to bring identification if you're able.
Officials are still sifting through the donations they've received so far, but they did say Sunday evening that they don't need anymore clothing.
The American Red Cross set up a Flood in Tennessee online resource at safeandwell.org where flood survivors can register and let family and friends know they are safe. If you are interested in learning about volunteering with the Red Cross, or to make a financial donation, check out RedCross.org/Tennessee or call 1-800-RedCross.
“The need is great here in Middle Tennessee,” said David Buchanan, logistics manager with the Red Cross. “I have been to many disasters, and this is one of the worst I have seen. We have people who have lost everything they worked their whole lives for. We have people here who watched as their family members were swept away in flood waters. This community is hurting. We are here to try to help.”
The Defense Health Agency (DHA) announced today that TRICARE beneficiaries in four Tennessee counties affected by flooding may receive emergency prescription refills now through September 1st.
The counties impacted are Dickson, Hickman, Humphreys and Houston.
To receive an emergency refill of prescription medications, TRICARE beneficiaries should take their prescription bottle to any TRICARE retail network pharmacy. If the bottle is unavailable or the label is damaged or missing, beneficiaries should contact Express Scripts or their retail network pharmacy for assistance.
To find a network pharmacy, beneficiaries may call Express Scripts at 1-877-363-1303.
The Community Resource Center is responding to the disaster also.
Shelters for flood victims are open at Waverly Church of Christ, 438 West Main St.; YMCA of Dickson County, 225 Henslee Dr.; First Baptist Church, 300 E. Main St. in Waverly and Fairfield Church of Christ, 1860 TN-100 in Centerville. McEwen Church of Christ is set up as a distribution center for clothes, water, food and cleaning supplies.
The Hope Center Ministries Thrift Store also said that it is helping those in need.
Team Rubicon, a veteran-centered organization, will be in Dickson and taking donations at the Dickson VFW. A barrel will be on-site to collect items for people who lost everything. They're looking for non-perishable foods, water, diapers, clothing, toiletries, shoes, baby wipes, baby bottles, formula, cleaning supplies, paper towels and similar items.
Secretary of State Tre Hargett reminds people to be wary of scams when donating. If a nonprofit asks you for a contribution, check to see if it's registered online sos.tn.gov/charitable or by calling 615-741-2555.
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