The names of over 20 missing people have been released following the devastating flash floods that hit Humphreys County, Tenn., this past weekend, killing 22 others.
Record rainfall totals gave way to 17 inches of rain over a 24-hour period, causing power outages, crumbling bridges, piles of swept away cars, and many people completely unaccounted for, along with their children.
The Waverly Department of Public Safety released a list of the names of missing people from the Tennessee flooding, although the list doesn’t contain if any of the individuals had children, with some people only identified by their first name.
Patrick Sheehan, the Tennessee emergency management director, said that he hopes, “given the number of fatalities, that we’re going to see mostly recovery efforts at this point rather than rescue efforts.”
“You might see a discrepancy in numbers sometimes, what’s coming from the sheriff or what’s coming from our official reports, and it’s really just a matter of process,” Director Sheehan explained. “What we know is there are a number of people still missing.”
Among some of the horrific deaths include a pair of 7-year-old twins who were swept out of their father’s arms, as well as Wayne Spears, the foreman of legendary country singer Loretta Lynn’s ranch, whom she reported on Facebook was a victim to the flooding.
If anyone has physically seen or talked to someone on the list of those who remain missing in Humphreys County, the Department of Public Safety advises that they call 931-582-6950 or go to McEwen High School, 335 Melrose Ave., and report anything they know to officials in the gymnasium.
They ask that any new names reported are given first and last names, as well as any information regarding their family or potential number of children.
The American Red Cross has also set up a resource online at www.safeandwell.org where survivors can update that they are “safe and well” for concerned family members and friends.
“Things are moving fast, and we are finding people left and right,” Rob Edwards, chief deputy of the Humphreys County Sheriff’s Office, told The New York Times. According to the Sheriff’s office, many of the missing people likely lived in the part of the county where the water was able to rise the fastest.
The Associated Press reported that dozens of buildings in the low-income housing area by the bridge known as Brookside were most likely hit the worst, with horrific stories of residents “pulling out bodies of people who had drowned and didn’t make it out.”
Standing on a tall bridge in the town, resident Kansas Klein told AP that he saw two girls and a puppy clinging to a wooden board get swept away by the harsh rapids of the flash floods, and that he still doesn’t know what happened to them.
“I want to begin by expressing my deepest condolences for the sudden and tragic loss of life due to this flash flood,” President Joe Biden said from Afghanistan, encouraging federal emergency officials to “offer any assistance they need for this terrible moment.”
A report released in 2016 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) detailed the potential dangers of more violent flash floods in the Tennessee area due to climate change, warning that the rivers that cut through these areas in the South would become even more prone to sudden, powerful rains that could overtake the county.
As the rivers finally began to recede on Sunday, Governor Bill Lee wrote on Twitter: “Our hearts are with the many Tennesseans experiencing loss & heartbreak following yesterday’s deadly floods.”
“The loss of life & property damage is devastating, & many of our neighbors are still missing,” Lee continued. “Please keep these communities in your prayers.”
As conditions dry up the recently deployed Tennessee National Guard hopes to assist with the recuse efforts and locate more of the names of missing residents on the list.
Humphreys County Missing:
- Amber Newman
- Elizabeth Betty Garner
- Harold Cannon
- Jerry Ragsdale
- Jim Garner
- Joane Cox
- Joey Prasnikar
- Kellen Borrow-Vaughn
- Lilly Bryant
- Linda Bryant
- Nathaniel Winsett
- Paula Ayers
- Richard Finney
- Robert Mitchell
- Stella Schulthis
- Donna Bradley
- Tammy White
- Rusty Hodges
- Sandra Marcom
- Jackie Krzyzanski
- Tanner Ramey
- Amanda Anthony