WAVERLY, Tenn. (WKRN) – Parents of a baby in Waverly are grateful to be alive after taking extreme measures to survive devastating flooding this weekend.
Vanessa & Anthony Yates say this was the most terrifying experience of their lives.
Anthony says he left for work in McEwen on Saturday around 5 a.m., and it was just starting to rain. Vanessa says she woke up around 9 a.m. to water up to her calves.
“In just a short amount of time, I don’t know how long it was, but it felt like it wasn’t long. The water continued to rise, and it got very high very quickly,” Vanessa explains.
Vanessa says the water then rose to her chest and everything was floating around her. She was extremely worried about her daughter, so she did something drastic.
“I went and got on the kitchen counter, and I put her as far as I could in the top cabinet. I just stood on the top of the kitchen counter,” Vanessa says.
Vanessa says she thought it would be the safest place for her daughter and felt it was her only option.
“I thought, before I got onto the counter, I for sure thought we were going to drown. Me and my baby wouldn’t make it,” says Vanessa.
Anthony Yates says he got a phone call at work that his house was flooding. He told his boss he had to rush home to check on his family.
“I started driving out back towards home. The road between the town, Waverly, and the next one over, McEwen, it was completely washed away. I ended up ditching my car and walked along the railroad tracks the rest of the way into town just to look for her and the baby,” says Anthony.
Anthony says strangers gave him a ride to his house, and he saw his dog Lilly inside, but not his wife and daughter. He rescued their dog and continued to search for his family.
From there, Anthony got a ride to every church in town, the fire department and the police station to search for his family. At his last stop, he got one single text message from his brother-in-law.
“He had apparently managed to touch base with her at some point and found out that she and the baby were at the hospital. They gave me a lift there and oh my gosh, Vanessa had not only reunited with her brother-in-law but with her dad. Of course she had the baby, and they were saved. I broke down crying,” recalls Anthony.
Anthony says this was the most surreal feeling of his life. “I have two very beautiful moments with me here.”
Anthony says he would have stopped at nothing to reunite with his family.
Vanessa says she and her baby were rescued in a boat.
“My brother-in-law took a kayak until he was able to reach these other two guys. Everybody was searching for us. People had called 911 multiple times. It was by the grace of God that they found us. They got to the door and they were getting us out,” says Vanessa.
She continues, “All I was doing was begging God to make the rain stop. The house next to us was on fire, and I just wanted out of there so bad. I am just so thankful that they came and got us. I was just so relieved.”
Vanessa says she is forever grateful for them and all that they did.