Residents try to recover from Dyer Co. flooding

By Nick Kenney - bio | email

DYERSBURG, TN (WMC-TV) - Dyer County was added to the growing list of counties that are considered major disaster areas Wednesday.

Water covered acres of farmland.  Nearly 400 homes on South Main Street were flooded.

Jimmy Cox's house was washed under by the flooded Forked Deer River.

"Doesn't look like much of a house," Cox said.  "Looks like a big lake, but that's supposed to be the house."

Stephanie Hart and her newborn child, Ricky LeeAnn, waded through waist high water.

"She came home last Friday out of the neonatal unit in Jackson," Hart said.

Ricky LeeAnn was born premature.

"She only weights five pounds, two ounces right now," Hart said.

The house where Diane Etheridge lived for 30 years was surrounded by murky water.

"This is a total loss for everybody," Etheridge said.  "I lost a son in '07 and all my pictures of my son is in there.  He was 26 years old and that's memories."

Cox said the flooding was unlike anything he had ever experienced.

"I don't know what to think," Cos said.  "I'll be honest with you, I've never seen nothing like it."

Raymond Summers pickup truck can only get as far as the water's edge.  His home of 42 years was lost under the flood waters.

"You know, it's rough," Summers said.  "It's rough."

Wanda Brown was forced to stay at the Red Cross shelter with nowhere else to go.  Her house is gone and her son is serving overseas.

"He's in Iraq," Brown said.  "He doesn't need to worry about his mother, what's going on here.  We're going to be all right."

Summer, a veteran of the Vietnam war, was devastated by the flood.

"Getting off an Iroquois helicopter in Vietnam into heavy enemy fire, I mean, I could live with that," Summers said.  "You know, I was trained ... but you don't get no training for this."

For Summers, Brown and the rest of their neighbors, there seems to be no end in sight.

"What do I do tomorrow?" Brown asked.  "What do I do Saturday?  Where do I go from here?"

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