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Flood survivors call East Tennessee home after losing everything in Waverly

After losing their home in Middle Tennessee flooding, this couple now calls East Tennessee home.
Published: Aug. 24, 2021 at 10:40 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 25, 2021 at 11:39 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - October would have marked 50 years of living in Waverly for Burlin and Judy Arms. Now, they’re staying with family in Morgan County after the floods in Middle Tennessee swept their home off its foundation and left the couple, in their 70′s, with nothing except the clothes on their back.

Burlin is wheelchair bound, which his wife Judy says caused a heightened level of concern when flood waters filled their home. Judy tells WVLT, “I saw the waves coming. It wasn’t just water rushing, it was waves”.

Saturday morning around nine is when the worst came for the Arms family. Judy says the couple floated and fought through water that eclipsed five feet inside their home. To stay afloat, the couple held on to the stairwell leading to their attic “for half a day” before rescue teams came to get them later that night.

The 77-year-old Burlin was transported to a nearby hospital and evaluated overnight because of his COPD and the fact he went under water at least one time. He was released the following day and is left with bumps and bruises according to his wife.

Judy says she was mostly concerned with helping her husband after seeing him go under water. He says, “Actually... she saved my life”.

A family bible, pictures of the family, and a brand new lift chair are some of the notable belongings the Arms family lost in the flood. Judy says they’re fortunate to be alive and are thankful for family supporting them during this time.

For now, the Arms will live with family in Morgan County until they figure out the next steps. Judy says, “I’m ready to leave the water. I want to go to the mountains now”.

A GoFundMe has been set up by family members to help rebuild what they lost.

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