August 24, 2021 – ROWW is immediately responding to the fatal floods in the Waverly, Tennessee area caused by heavy rainfall. The widespread floods reached 5 counties and demolished hundreds of homes; it’s estimated thousands heavily flooded. As the waters recede Team ROWW’s mission is to assess the area and lend aid in any way possible and begin relief efforts. We will perform light medical where needed and remove debris blocking roadways and remove anything restricting a resident from entering their homes. Stay tuned for an updated write up and follow our progress live on social media @reachoutww
August 31. 2021
ROWW got to the Emergency Response Command center in downtown Waverly on Wednesday the 25th. The level of aid relief was massive. Multiple organizations, including government, religious, and independent responded and had teams ready to help victims.
On our way in from Nashville we stopped by Lowe’s and filled our truck and response trailer with generators, contractor bags, plastic totes, chainsaw supplies and other requested items to be donated to residents or used by our volunteer teams. During this deployment made 2 separate Lowe’s runs and donated everything we got.
On Wednesday we met up with the Siren’s Project and helped unload hygiene kits and toiletries their church had donated. It’s safe to say every church in the area was filling up with donations just as quickly as they were getting cleared out from locals who were left with nothing after they were forced to abandoned their homes.
We drove to an area that hadn’t seen much relief aside from neighbors helping neighbors. Whole homes were completed taken off their foundations and swept downstream. Homes were blocking roadways, sheds were displaced and people were beginning to remove soaked belongings and piling them up in their front yard. We bucked up a tree that had fallen on a home and left a note that we’d been there, no one was home but we knew it would need to be done.
We surveyed the surrounding neighborhoods, bypassed the National Guard roadblocks and snuck our way onto some streets where homes were less demolished and potentially able to be saved. We met a homeowner who shared his escape story that involved getting his wife and daughter through a living room window and using their car as a ladder to get to higher ground on their roof. Ultimately they were saved by a friend in a kayak. Things have a way of working out sometimes and he was in great spirits. We logged a few homes that needed work done which we’d return to the following day and begin mucking out.
Mucking out a home involves removing ALL belongings, appliances, vanities, and kitchen cabinetry from inside the home and tearing into the walls in 2′ increments depending on how high the water got. Opening the walls and floors to the studs and removing all insulation & wood flooring helps the home dry out and prevents the growth of black mold – this can help preserve the home’s condition and keep it from being condemned which could get the homeowner some sort of government funding to rebuild.
Some homes already had mold growth 3 days after the water receded. Time is of the essence.
We replicated this process on 7 different homes. Each home we muck out can save the homeowner tons of backbreaking labor and time OR upwards of $30-40,000 in labor costs to hire a company or crew to do the work.
Our volunteers (and some residents) battled the roasting hot sun and wet humid weather Tennessee has to offer this time of year. They came from far and wide to help. They don’t call Tennessee the Volunteer State for nothing.
Team ROWW needs places to sleep and we had none other than Loretta Lynn’s ranch to lay our heads. This came with us pulling our weight and we fell trees, removed debris, and retrieved horse fences (panels). The ranch experienced a devastating loss with one of their own becoming one of the fatalities caused by the flood.
Our hearts go out to all the victims and their families, Waverly showed a ton of heart, and an unmatched resiliency. If you want to stay involved and help the town of Waverly please email us at info#roww.org and we’ll get you in touch with community leaders.
With Hurricane Ida hitting Louisiana and the immediate needs met in Waverly ROWW wrapped up the 7th home and our team leads made their way to the greater New Orleans area. We will be locating communities that aren’t getting much relief and press and making sure they get the response and supplies they need.
To donate to ROWW’s effort in Tennessee please visit