WAVERLY, Tenn. (WKRN) – It’s been nearly two months since 20 people lost their lives and more than 500 homes and businesses were destroyed or damaged by flood waters in Waverly.
“It was so overwhelming because everywhere you went was like Armageddon,” said Victoria Brooks. “If nothing, more intense.”
Brooks owns Wild Orchid Hair Salon on E. Main Street. Her business was one of many others damaged by raging flood waters back in August.
“When we walked in, every piece of furniture was in its exact place but had been consumed with about 10-12 inches of water. And I could see my floor rippling,” Brooks explained. “We both just lost it.”
The salon owner and team have spent the last eight weeks rebuilding and redesigning the salon, all with the support of those around them.
“I don’t want to be negative, but we didn’t have any help from any government,” Brooks said. “FEMA, SBA, none of that came to our aid. We strictly had the help from the community and our clients.”
Wild Orchid is one of the first businesses to reopen since being damaged by the flood. Brooks calls it “bittersweet”.
“Our beloved neighbors next door, we’re trying to talk them into staying, but I don’t think they are going to stay. Every other house on Main Street has been demolished. It’s like a ghost town. It’s almost like the walking dead, in a sense,” said Brooks. “The people that want to rebuild, that have worked so hard to make something of themselves, they can’t do it now. It’s hard.”
Brooks says she and her team plan to give back to the community in hopes of supporting other businesses in the same way they were supported.