By ALEX HEIDER, RYAN BRESLIN, JOE WENZEL
WAVERLY, Tennessee (WSMV) — Hundreds of volunteers gathered on Saturday to clean up the town of Waverly and help the victims of the deadly flooding in Humphreys County.
“That’s what it’s all about. Loving one another and helping one another,” Bill with Mr. Bill’s Grill said.
One week since the deadly flood, Mr. Bill was back at his grill. He was flipping burgers and hot dogs. He was in town to feed the volunteers. So were John Simmons and Terry Kelly, who were from West Tennessee.
“We definitely cook. We’ve been cooking for 50 years. We’ve got it figured out,” Simmons of Brownsville said.
All three were there with one purpose in mind.
“It’s just another way to spread God’s love. We’re here to serve, and that’s what we’re on earth to do,” Kelly of Jackson said.
Waverly welcomed cooks to carpenters to help repair the more than 520 homes that were damaged in the flooding. Two hundred seventy-two of them were destroyed, including this one that floated to the Exxon Gas Station, which volunteers worked to clear Saturday.
“We have people coming in who have been impacted, they live here, they’ve been impacted, but they’re wanting to help their neighbor. So there’s a lot of neighbor helping,” Julie Dimitrov, who is the managing volunteer reception center, said.
From national groups visiting from Ohio, Michigan, and Texas, to people from around the state, about 20 different organizations pitched in.
“There’s so much need here, and you know it’s a small town at 4,000,” Dimitrov said. “But when you consider the damage that the flash flooding did coming in, we really needed that help.”
That need will continue in Waverly for weeks or months to come. So those on Saturday, hoping the volunteer spirit will also carry on.
“It’s all about giving back. Giving back to others,” Bill with Mr. Bill’s Grill said.
Humphreys County announced the staging area for volunteers was at the Dollar Tree, located at 515 W. Main Street. Volunteers worked as part of 87 recovery teams focusing on the hardest-hit areas in the county.
All residents inside and outside Waverly are encouraged to apply for FEMA assistance. They will be at the Cumberland Presbyterian Church at 109 N. Church Street in Waverly. More than 800 residents have registered already, and authorities dispersed nearly $1,000,000 to those in need.
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