Waverly community remembers deadly flood 1 year later

August 21 marked one year since devastating flood waters swept through the city of Waverly.
Published: Aug. 21, 2022 at 10:21 PM CDT

WAVERLY, Tenn. (WSMV) - Sunday, Aug. 21, marked the one year since devastating flood waters swept through the city of Waverly which took more than a dozen lives and homes.

A memorial service was held at Waverly Central High where the community came together to remember the people they lost.

On Sunday, they didn’t just wipe their tears away, they also shared reasons to celebrate how far they have come.

“My whole world collapsed around me,” June Daily-Stewart said. She said the raging flood tore down dozens of Waverly businesses, schools and homes. And taking it with it, all she had left of her husband who died a few months prior to the floods.

“When the flood came, it took all of it and I felt like I lost my husband a second time,” Daily-Stewart said.

A feeling of loss and grief took over the whole city after 20 people lost their lives. One year later, those lives are still being remembered.

“Our hope is that the families realize that their loved ones and losses are still on our hearts and minds and that we haven’t forgotten,” Pastor Daron Brown said.

With prayer and dedicated speeches from state leaders, Brown said they not only put together an event to honor those who died, but also to give thanks.

“At the very same time we are going to celebrate the work that has been done,” Brown said.

Brown said dozens of homes, businesses, and schools have been rebuilt at the hands of those who lost everything.

“A year ago it was really hard for us to imagine getting to this point and what our community might look like so this is a chance for us to take back and celebrate and experience our thanks for how far we’ve come,” Brown said.

Although the city still has a long way to go, Daily-Stewart said Waverly will be back and better than ever.

“It’s going to be years before things will be normal here, whatever the new normal is, but we are all trying to put our lives back together as best we can and with Gods help we are going to do it,” Daily-Stewart said.

Church leaders also announced Sunday night that they city will soon install a memorial on Main Street for the 20 that lost their lives.