‘Ground zero’: Families describe devastation left behind after getting rescued from floodwaters

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WAVERLY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Families who live on Melrose Avenue in Waverly called the area “ground zero” after the deadly flooding that destroyed several homes Saturday. 

“When I pulled up, her house was already underwater,” said Ruby Garcia, whose daughter, Madison was stuck inside her home with her two-year-old daughter. 

On Saturday, Madison Styles, her daughter, her friend Savannah Boroughs, and Borough’s two-month-old baby girl found themselves neck-deep in floodwaters.

“She called me, and she was like ‘Mom, it’s up to our neck. We’re not going to make it,'” Garcia said while sobbing.

Thankfully, two men were able to help save the women and their babies. Chad Primm and his cousin, Benji Lee, jumped into the water and helped pull them to safety. 

“We had to hold their noses and shove them under and went straight into the current,” Styles explained. “We just held on to the fence until they could come get us.”

The heroes were able to meet the family they saved on Monday. Primm was even able to hold two-month-old Aubrey in his arms. 

“I took this one,” Primm said while holding Aubrey and barely holding back tears. “I felt a car and I jumped on top of the car. I held this one on top of my shoulder to keep her head out of the water.”

“Being terrified yourself, and then seeing three women and three little babies down here trapped in the water,” Lee explained. “It was a sad moment, but we were so thankful that we got them out because there’s so many people who didn’t get to get out.” 

Not far from Styles’ home, a family of five also lost their home. 

“It hasn’t hit me yet. I’m still trying to keep it together,” said Michael Phillips. 

Phillips, his wife, and their three children were caught inside when the floodwaters began seeping into their home.

“We got out with the clothes on our back,” said Phillips. “We had to go to Walmart in Dickson to buy clothes.” 

Now, both families are left wondering what comes next.

“You think you’d come back to try to get stuff out, but there is nothing to save in the house,” said Phillips. 

Even with the help of donations from various organizations, many families first need a place to stay.  

“Everybody is trying to donate furniture, but we have nowhere to put furniture,” said Garcia. 

A GoFundMe page has been set up to support the Styles family.

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