Joseph Reeves died a hero Saturday just before Tennessee floods swept him away. Reports claimed that the loving father and military veteran rescued his family as water levels rose to devastating heights. The current rushed through their home in Waverly, Tenn. But before it was too late, Reeves gave his loved ones a chance at survival.

As the horrific Tennessee flooding tore through the family’s home, threatening to drown them, Reeves opened the front door. This gave his family a chance to get to safety. As they rushed out of the house, though, the current took Joseph Reeves in the opposite direction.

Joseph Reeves is a hero! Dad saves family from Tennessee flooding as floodwaters rose in their Waverly home.
Joseph Reeves is a hero! Dad saved his family from Tennessee flooding as floodwaters rose in their Waverly home. Photo Credit: GoFundMe

Reeves was one of the more than 20 people who died during the intense Tennessee flooding over the weekend. His sacrifice, however, is remembered across the community – he used his final moments to heroically save his family.

“He was very brave, he got them safe,” Joe Reeves’ daughter Rachel told reporters. “My mom and sister got out of the current, they were at the side of it – but they got all separated.”

She continued, explaining that “my sister by herself got on top of the Exxon. She climbed up something. Some nice lady pulled my mom up on this building that’s gone now.”

Floodwaters rushed below the family as they secured themselves on top of various buildings in the community. Thankfully, before any more of the family’s lives could be lost, a good Samaritan ushered them to safety.

Helicopter pilot Joel Boyer was a “gentleman,” according to a Facebook post honoring his heroic actions. He “saved many lived with his bravery and skills as a helicopter pilot during the devastating flood in Waverly, Tenn.” Boyer rescued various people during the flood, including members of the Reeves family. He used his helicopter to bring people to safety who were trapped above the rushing floodwaters.

Joel Boyer used bravery and determination to save lives during the Tennessee floods over the weekend. He rescued many people with his helicopter, flying them to safety.
Joel Boyer used bravery and determination to save lives during the Tennessee floods over the weekend. He rescued many people with his helicopter, flying them to safety. Photo Credit: Facebook

“My mom and sister would not be alive without Melissa and Joel and the nice family on 211 East Railroad Street,” Rachel admitted to reporters. “They are incredible people for going out there in danger and bringing them to safety.” 

The Reeves family identified Joseph Reeves’ body at midnight Saturday. Grief isn’t the only thing the family is currently facing. Reports say Reeves’ wife, Angela, is battling Stage 4 cancer. After the difficult fight against the Tennessee flooding Saturday, Angela Reeves had bumps and bruises. What likely hurts the most, though, is the pain of losing her beloved husband.

A friend of the family Dawn Stuard set up a GoFundMe page to support the Reeves family in their time of mourning. Stuard wrote on the page that “my very dear friend Angela Reeves and her family suffered a horrible loss Saturday… during the flood in Waverly, Tennessee.” Alongside Joe Reeves, the family also lost their home.

Stuard explained that “they had just moved into their new home a couple of weeks ago.” She also mentioned that “Angela is battling stage 4 colon [and] liver cancer and is going through treatments every week.”

Dawn Stuard claimed that “Angela and [Joseph Reeves]… would give you the shirt off of their back or the last penny they had.” She continued, saying that “Angela was caught up in the current and she suffered a lot of cuts and bruises. She was taken to the ER to be checked out. With her going through Chemo and treatments, we all know how big of a scare that could be.”

The GoFundMe page was set up to help the family rebuild what they lost – their life, their home, and their possessions. Stuard wants to “help them replace not only their home but help them refurnish as they lost everything… Thank you in advance for helping this amazing and loving family that we all love so very much.”

The fundraiser has garnered over $17,000 in donations. It isn’t clear if people have sent clothes and other goods, though Stuard did list the family’s clothes sizes to help keep them warm in the coming weeks.