WAVERLY, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Waverly community shared an emotional evening Sunday as they remembered the one-year anniversary of the devastating flood the claimed the lives of 20 people.  

“It’s one of the hardest things for us to accept; we don’t like changes in our lives,” Humphreys County Sheriff Chris Davis said. “How we deal with it, how we put it back together, how we move is up to us.” 

Some of the biggest changes have come for those who lost loved ones.  

“It’s a sad day for everybody. It’ll be a sad day for a while because it’s everywhere, it’s still everywhere,” said Tammy Elliott, sister of Scott Kilburn.  

Scott Kilburn died trying to save a woman as she was getting swept away by flood waters.  

“It’s terrible. I was in that creek for hours looking for him, hours. And then my other little brother said that they had found him. And of course, we went to the hospital and there he was, but it was awful,” Elliott said.

Even in the worst of times, Mayor Buddy Frazier is urging his community to hold out hope.  

“I know when you stand on the steps of a porch where a house once stood, it’s hard to imagine a bright future, but that future will come, recovery will [continue] in our community until it is whole again,” Frazier said.  

Some believe it could be at least a decade until their town is restored. No matter how long it takes, they’re committed to staying Waverly strong.  

“I believe Waverly’s going to survive and I believe Waverly’s going to rebuild, and I believe all these families that are no longer here will come back,” Elliott said.  

County leaders announced plans to build a memorial in honor of the flood on August 21, 2021.