When deadly floodwaters rushed around her Tennessee home Saturday morning, Linda Almond Bryant started a Facebook Live video.
“We’re being flooded right now,” she says as water pushes debris by a door. “Really scary.”
It was the last video she appeared to post to her Facebook page. The flood would claim her life, according to her son.
Almond Bryant, 55, was one of at least 18 people who were killed in Saturday’s flash flooding in Middle Tennessee, including her town of Waverly, roughly an 80-mile drive west of Nashville. Also among the dead in Waverly were 7-month-old twins.
More than 270 homes were destroyed — some pulled off their foundations — in the flooding brought on by heavy rain, officials said this week.
Almond Bryant’s 70-second video and a subsequent account from her son, who was with her, help to piece together some of her last moments.
Son says mother was lost after water carried them into a wrecked home
In the video, a male’s voice says he thinks something just hit the house.
“This is scary,” she says, and about 10 seconds later exclaims, “Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness.”
She and her son eventually found themselves in the water.
Her son, Thomas Almond, recalled to CNN on Tuesday that he and his mother were hanging onto a side of the house for 30 minutes Saturday as the floodwaters rushed around it.
Then, a different, dislodged house that was on fire came toward them. They decided to let go, and the water carried them away, he told CNN.
The rushing water carried them into another dislodged house, which had come to rest against a gas station.
“We hit the corner of the house, and as I hit it, it dragged both of us under,” Almond told CNN. “And I was probably under, I don’t know, thirty to forty five seconds.
“And I came out over here, and I looked around, I screamed for my mom a couple times. But I didn’t see her. … I knew I had to fight for myself.”
He said the current took him around a bend to another building, where he climbed onto a roof and remained there four hours until he was rescued — but his mother did not make it, he said.
Up to 15 inches of rain had fallen in the area over a six-hour period, officials said.
Humphreys County Sheriff Chris Davis took a helicopter ride this week to survey the destruction and became tearful when he described what he saw.
“You’ve seen us get a little emotional through some of this,” Davis said Tuesday through tears. “You have to remember: These are people we know. These are people’s families that we know. These are people that we grew up with. This is just people of our small county. And it’s very close to us.”
Hundreds of homes are affected by the flooding in some form, Davis said. “We’ve got some folks that are in their homes that had knee-deep, waist-deep water, that now the water has receded,” he said.
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