New details in Tipton County flooding death

By Jason Miles - bio | email

TIPTON COUNTY, TN (WMC-TV) - Rain fell Monday on an already saturated Mason Tennessee.  That's where Willie "Skeet"  Burchett was last seen alive May 1 helping a neighbor unclog a storm drain.

It was just before flood waters suddenly became life-threatening.

"Water is a powerful thing," Tipton County Chief Deputy Donna Turner said Monday.

According to Turner, Burchett was no match for the rising water as he walked back to the mobile home where he lived alone.  It was a trip during which he would normally ride a bicycle.

"And obviously, because of the flooding he could not ride his bike," Turner said. "So, he left on foot."

It was nearly a week before Burchett's body was found by a hunter Friday in a flooded field not too far from his home.

Chief Turner said an autopsy ruled out foul play.

"This was a tragedy and the result of a natural disaster," Turner said.

Burchett was one of three men swept away during the flash flooding on the very same day across West Tennessee.

A 30-year-old man's body was finally found three days after he went missing northeast of Milan, in Gibson County.

A 32-year-old man was recovered last Wednesday from a rain-swollen creek in the Raleigh area of Memphis.

It was all part of the same severe weather system that left large potions of Millington and Dyersburg under water along with millions of dollars in resulting property damage.

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