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A two-year-old toddler was ripped from his mother’s arms as she held onto a clothesline amid the deadly floodwaters in Tennessee Saturday.
The boy, Kellen Cole Burrow, is one of ten people still missing as of Monday in the aftermath of the weekend floods that have killed at least 21 people in the state.
The flash floods came after 17 inches of rain fell over parts of Tennessee in a 24-hour period Saturday, which smashed the state’s previous single-day record of 9.45 inches in 2010, according to the National Weather Service Nashville.
The family was caught out by the deluge and the boy’s mother, Brittney LeAnn McCord, grabbed onto the clothes line and grasped hold of her five children. She held on for as long as she could outside their family’s apartment as the waters rose before the powerful surge pulled Kellen from her arms, the Tennessean reported.
His stepfather, Kalaub McCord, was away that night, seeking treatment for a painful sinus infection at a nearby emergency room before the roads became clogged with floodwaters.
Two-year-old Kellen Cole Burrows was swept from his mother’s arms during Saturday’s catastrophic flooding in Tennessee that has killed at least 21. He remains among 10 people still missing as of Monday
Kalaub McCord’s stepfather recalled the last time he saw the toddler, before he headed to a nearby emergency room for treatment for a painful sinus infection
He recalled the last time he saw him.
‘I seen him that night when we put him to bed, but she had him in her arms whenever he got swept away,’ he told Fox 17.
It took McCord five hours to return to his family home, and he recounted helping others along the way, including two elderly women who couldn’t swim, but he was unable to return to his wife and children in time.
‘I couldn’t get back to him, but she managed to save our other four children. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have any children right now,’ McCord said.
Also missing is 15-year-old Lilly Bryant, who had just started her freshman year of high school.
‘Loved everybody, loved to make people laugh,’ family friend Chelsea Simons told Fox 17. ‘There’s not another one like her.’
Saturday’s floodwaters in Tennessee swept away homes, vehicles and rural roads in Waverly, Tennessee (pictured)
An estimated 3,000 people in the region remained without power as of Monday, according to emergency workers
As of Monday afternoon at least 21 people were confirmed dead, and 10 remained missing as a result of the flooding
Rains in Humpreys County Saturday shattered the previous single-day record of 9.45 inches in 2010
‘If we don’t find her tonight, we’ll be right back here in the morning as soon as daylight breaks to continue,’ she told the station Sunday. ‘We’re not gonna stop until we find their baby.’
The Humphreys County town of McEwen was hit with the worst of the flooding, which washed away homes and rural roads.
‘Our people need help,’ Humphreys County Sheriff Davis said at a Monday afternoon news conference, the New York Times reported. ‘We are going to be overwhelmed for the next 30 days at least — overwhelmed.’
He said damage from the flooding stretched up to 10 miles.
Humphreys County Sherriff Chris Davis said Monday afternoon that emergency workers there would be overwhelmed for at least 30 days in the aftermath of the flooding
The Nashville Fire Department posts aerial photos of massive flooding in Tennessee after heavy rainfall that led to severe flooding
Damage from the violent floodwaters is believed to extend out at least 10 miles in Humpreys County
Additionally, more than 3,000 homes in the state remained without power as of Monday.
Among those whose deaths were confirmed included seven-month-old twins Ryan and Rieligh Rigney, who were pulled away from their father in a deluge when floodwaters swept through their apartment complex, NewsChannel5 reported.
Angie Cason, the twins’ grandmother, told the station how the twins were at home with their mother, father and their five-year-old and 19-month-old siblings, when water smashed through their home on Saturday morning.
Swept away in the waters were seven-months-old twins Ryan and Rileigh Rigney (pictured) whose bodies were recovered by authorities after they were pulled from their father
The mother of the four children was swept away in the torrent but managed to make it to safety, while their father grabbed the twins and their two siblings.
But despite his best efforts, the twins were torn from his arms, and they went under the water and disappeared, their grandmother said.
Their bodies were recovered by rescue workers later on Saturday, Humphreys County Sheriff said.
Also killed in the flood was Wayne Spears, the ranch foreman for country singer Loretta Lynn.
He was seen with his arms around the beam at Lynn’s ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, on Saturday after being caught by rapidly rising floodwaters while checking on the ranch’s animals.
But tragically, Spears died after the structure he was clinging to washed away moments later, according to local news site the Tennessee Holler.
This distressing photo shows Loretta Lynn’s ranch foreman Wayne Spears moments before he was swept to his death during a flood that hit the singer’s property in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, on Saturday
County star Lynn, pictured left with Spears, was unharmed by the floods, but paid a touching tribute to her ‘irreplaceable’ rancher in a Facebook post announcing his death Sunday
‘He’s out at his barn and next thing you know, he goes from checking animals in the barn to hanging on in the barn to people seeing him floating down the creek. And that´s how fast it had come up,’ Humphrey’s County Sheriff Chris Davis said.
‘Wayne´s just one of those guys, he just does everything for everybody, if there´s a job to do,’ said his friend Michael Pate, who met Spears at the ranch 15 years ago.
Lynn herself is safe from the floods, which were the worst ever to have swept through her ranch. She shared a tribute to Spears Sunday, writing: ‘With the heaviest of hearts we are saddened to report that our beloved foreman Wayne Spears did not survive being swept up in the flood waters. Wayne has been a family friend to the Lynns and a fixture to the Ranch for decades and we are all devastated by his passing.
‘The Ranch will never be the same without him but he will always be remembered for his ready smile, kind heart, and willingness to go the extra mile for everyone around him.