WAVERLY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Two years after Tennessee’s most deadly single-day flood, some volunteer organizations are still on the ground in Waverly working to help residents recover.  

Thinking back on the morning of Aug. 21, 2021, Waverly resident Mac Anderson recalls trying to drive to his church following reports of quickly forming water damage.   

“We were driving east on Main Street when the water started to rise at an unprecedented rate. It became too high for my Honda CRV, so we had to turn around and go back home,” Anderson recalled.

He returned home to a blackout and by the time he was able to make it downtown, he saw a Waverly he didn’t even recognize.   

“So many folks that rode this storm out in their house and just barely made it into an attic space,” Anderson said. “They were just barely able to get up above the water, and then their house became a boat and it moved so far down stream that it created a vacant lot basically where they had lived their lives.” 

Waters eventually subsided, but they took the homes of many with them.  

Shortly after, Anderson got involved with the Appalachia Service Project where he now serves as a Grant Compliance Coordinator. The nonprofit is still on the ground, working to rebuild houses that couldn’t be repaired or remodeled. 

“Shortly after 15-20 homes were started, we found out there was going to be funding for more, so we continued to build,” Anderson explained. 

The goal of building 20 homes was quickly exceeded thanks to donations and volunteers. Now, the ASP is in the process of completing more than 30 homes and may even add on another 10-20.  

“We get to hand them that set of keys and it’s a game changer. Just a great moment of happiness because so much work and effort has gone into it and they just can’t believe they’re getting a brand-new home when a few weeks before they had nothing,” Anderson said.  

The ASP hopes to wrap up their work in Waverly by the end of this year. However, they still welcome volunteers and donations to help build more homes.