Chattanooga residents hope to help former neighbors hurt by Middle Tennessee flooding

A driveway is washed away by flooding along Little Blue Creek Road following heavy rainfall Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021, in McEwen, Tenn. Heavy flooding in several Middle Tennessee counties on Saturday prompted water rescues, road closures, and communications disruptions, with several people reported missing. Flash flood warnings were in effect for Dickson, Houston and Montgomery and Stewart counties on Saturday evening. (Josie Norris/The Tennessean via AP)

A half dozen Black Creek subdivision neighbors with ties to Humphreys County in Middle Tennessee are working together to gather donations of furniture to help their friends, family and former neighbors affected by last weekend's heavy flooding.

Nearly 17 inches of rain fell in some areas of the state Saturday. Several counties were affected including Dickson, Hickman, Houston and Humphreys, with the city of Waverly being heavily impacted.

Stephanie Peeler Large graduated from Waverly Central High School and has been in contact with some of her former classmates including Humphreys County Sheriff Chris Davis. She said the devastation has been emotionally and physically draining on the whole county.

"It's been devastating, for him and all of the first responders, but really everyone," she said. "There are about 1,000 homes impacted by the flooding. I am in touch with a lot of friends and alumni who are starting to hear that we are doing this and they are contacting me with needs."

State and federal government agencies also are helping with cleanup and recovery efforts in the impacted areas. Large said the Black Creek group decided to focus on furniture because it is such a big need, literally, and trying to buy new furniture right now can take four to six months for delivery.

"It will be a logistical nightmare on our end maybe, but even if we can't deliver it for a couple of weeks, the timing might work out because many of the homes are not livable right now," she said.

Former Black Creek neighbor and F2F Transport owner Mike McCallie has offered the services of a truck and driver to haul the donations to the distribution center being operated by the National Guard in Waverly, Large said.

To Make a Donation

Furniture Dropoff LocationHorizon Stone, 2525 E. 43rd St.8 a.m-3 p.m. Monday-FridayCash“Waverly Flood Relief Fund”First Federal BankPO Box 69Waverly, TN 37185931-296-4264

"We will continue to make the trip until everything is delivered," she said.

The group is asking for gently used furniture to be delivered to Horizon Stone at 2525 E. 43rd St. between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday-Friday. Mattresses will not be accepted, and the group is not accepting cash donations, but Large said there are links on the Waverly Strong Nooga Cares Facebook page.

Peter Markovich and wife Kathey Runyions Markovich are among the Black Creek residents trying to help. She wrote on the group's social media page that "Our goals are both short and long term simply to contribute in a small way, to help citizens feel like they are back 'home.' Whether it is replacing lost items for people that can get back in their homes soon or furnishing the rebuilds down the road, we hope this helps families to be able to put money to other immediate needs. Please feel free to pass along other ideas as we realize this is a fluid situation."

Contact Barry Courter at [email protected] or 423-757-6354.