Survivors of deadly Tennessee floods recall "scariest thing ever"

Survivors of deadly Tennessee floods recall "scariest thing ever"
·2 min read

Catastrophic flooding killed at least 21 people west of Nashville, Tennessee, after record-breaking rainfall washed away homes and roads Saturday. More than 20 people are still missing.

"It is heartbreaking to see," Governor Bill Lee said, calling the aftermath of the flooding a devastating picture of heartache.

"Tremendous loss of life, a number of missing people on the ground, homes washed off their foundations, cars strung around their community," Lee said.

In the city of Waverly, roads turned into rivers, the water destroying anything in its path.

Several children were swept away. Floodwaters ripped twin babies, Ryan and Rieligh, out of their father's arms. Their bodies were later recovered.

Also recovered, the body of a longtime friend and ranch foreman for country music legend Loretta Lynn. He was swept away in waters that overtook her ranch in nearby Hurricane Mills.

Lynn posted on her Facebook page, "only God could build a man like Wayne Spears."

Meanwhile, among the missing, 2-year-old Kellen, also snatched away from his mother and four siblings.

"They were on the clotheslines hanging on," stepfather Kalaub McCord said. "He was a wonderful kid."

The rain fell so quickly, many people were caught off guard by the danger.

Amber Elliott climbed to the roof of her car with her children.

"All the houses down this way are off foundation," Elliot said. "There's cars in the driveway. The scariest thing ever for me and my kids to be in, being a single mom."

And amid the tragedy emerge stories of heroism, neighbors helping rescue neighbors, even by Jet Ski.

Clayton Callicott is a junior high principal, who is helping neighbors who lost their homes.

"Unfortunately the ones who are still missing, some of those are children," Callicott said. "We just trust God's hand that he's going to minister and take care of and heal our community."

CBS News' Jessi Mitchell reported seeing debris dams and cars still fully submerged in the water for miles along Trace Creek, which cuts through Waverly. With so many missing, officials fear the death toll could rise.

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