‘She didn’t know a stranger’: Parents remember 22-year-old daughter killed in Waverly flood


WAVERLY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Saturday’s massive flood in Waverly didn’t just destroy homes. It also ruined multiple businesses across town, including several at Waverly Plaza.

Twenty-two-year-old Amber Newman was working her first shift there as the new Dollar General manager when the rushing waters entered her store. Witnesses said eventually the flood swept her away.

Newman’s parents, Jeff and Debbie, drove to Waverly from Erin when they heard what was happening.

“My husband and I, we drove to Waverly and that’s when we saw what was going on. Like we didn’t have a clue until we pulled into the Dollar General parking lot and the first thing we saw other than the devastation was our daughter’s car,” Debbie said.

But Amber was nowhere to be found. Her parents searched the store and surrounding piles of debris for days until the TBI showed up at their home on Tuesday to collect DNA of off some of Amber’s personal items.

On Wednesday the TBI confirmed that the DNA was a match to a body they recovered near Trace Creek. Amber’s parents say she’ll be remembered as a kind, caring, and compassionate person.

“She didn’t know a stranger. She’s been like that from the time she was small. She was the kind of person that would walk up to someone and say will you be my friend at the playground,” Debbie said.

Although she’s perished from Earth, Amber’s parents say they find comfort knowing she’s now with the Lord.

“She loved God. She loved Jesus,” Jeff said. “That’s what people in this community saw in her and that’s what they were attracted to because that’s a real and genuine joy.”

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