Devastated flood victims in Humphreys County brace for more weather

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HUMPHREYS COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Residents in Humphreys County are bracing for the worst after being devastated by deadly floodwaters last Saturday. Hundreds of homes were washed off their foundations in the flooding that killed 20 people. 

Preparations to protect what is salvageable were underway Monday, as Ida threatened to drop heavy rain, possible flooding, and tornadoes throughout Middle Tennessee. 

While the community was not prepared for what hit them nine days earlier, residents were covering windows and personal belongings with tarps Monday. Others, on the other hand, left with nothing are praying they don’t have to re-live the nightmare again. 

“We thought we were going to die honestly,” Christianne Johns told News 2. 

For much of the community Monday there was a fear of surviving. 

“I’m terrified, terrified. I mean it started raining the other day and I think just about all of us over there at the hotel room started having anxiety attacks,” Johns explained. 

However, in the darkest of times on nearly every corner, there were signs of hope. 

“This church has been the hands and feet of Jesus so that’s what we want to be,” volunteer Gail Hemphill teared up as she passed out food at the Waverly Church of Christ. 

Many in the small community are leaning on prayer that brighter days lie ahead. 

Chelsea Mutter and her three kids, who survived the raging floodwater in the attic, may have lost their home but they are fortunate to have somewhere to store items. 

“We’ve just taped over all the windows so no more water gets in the house. All the windows that were broken out and just taking stuff to my mom’s house that we were trying to save,” she told News 2.

Humphreys County EMA passed out dozens of tarps Monday to those in need. 

“Unfortunately most of the area in our flood zone, main flood zone they didn’t have much left but those that do, a lot of it is still outside and so that’s the reason we are trying to push tarps out right now. At least allow them the chance to cover things up,” Humphreys county EMA Director Odell Poyner told News 2. 

In the end, many in the tight-knit community are leaning on someone greater to get them through. 

“They have discussed the fear of the rain coming but you know what, maybe the good lord is just gonna take care of them,” Hemphill said. 

Poyner said they are keeping a close eye on the weather overnight and will be ready to act if necessary.

“We don’t anticipate any flooding except maybe some localized issues, but we don’t anticipate and I want to stress that because we were not expecting the flash flood we got a week or so ago.” 

The EMA continues to hand out tarps for free at 515 West Main Street. 

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