7-Month-Old Twins Die In Tennessee Floods After Being Swept Away From Dad While He Held Onto His 4 Kids

His heroic efforts ended in tragedy.

7-Month-Old Twins Swept Away In Waverly, Tennessee Floods Family / Fox17.com

A family is grieving the loss of their seven-month-old twins after they were swept away by flash floods that overtook Waverly, Tennessee this weekend. 

Tennessee's Humphreys County was hit with a whopping 17.02 inches of rain. Saturday's rainfall overtook the state's previous record of 13.06 inches, which was recorded on September 13, 1982.  

The tragic aftermath has reportedly resulted in at least 22 fatalities according to various news sources, with dozens still missing as rescuers continue their search efforts. 


The twins were swept away in the Waverly, TN floods. 

Among the deceased are seven-month-old twins Ryan and Rileigh, who were tragically swept from their father's arms early Saturday morning as the family tried to escape the rising water, according to their grandmother, Angie Willeby. 

The children's mother was reportedly clutching to a tree with avoid being swept away while their father attempted to save the twins along with their siblings who are 19 months and 5 years old.

The twins were torn from his arms and vanished under the water, only to later be recovered by first responders. The mother, along with the father and other children, survived the horrifying ordeal. 


The community will be reeling from catastrophic flash flooding, of which the full effects are still unknown. 

“We’re working very diligently to identify, photograph, reunite and get some questions answered for families—and that's really tough considering our logistics, without phones and communications,” Humphreys County Sheriff Chris Davis told reporters.

Related: Police Are Investigating Deaths Family Of Three & Their Dog Found On California Trail As A ‘Hazmat Situation’

Climate change may have worsened the floods.

Prior to the heavy rainfall, Krissy Hurley, a meteorologist in Nashville, reported that a flash flood warning was issued in advance.  However, forecasters estimated that 4 to 6 inches of rain would be likely as the worst storm recorded in the area was only 9 inches. Hurley stated that what Tennessee witnessed was "double the amount we've ever seen." 


Recent studies point to an alarming reality — an ever-warming Earth will make extreme flooding and rainfall a frequent occurrence. In July alone, there was widespread flooding reported globally, from the U.S all the way to China. 

RELATED: 3 Ways Coronavirus Is Destroying The Environment & Impacting Climate Change

The concern is not that we'll potentially be seeing more rain on average, but rather that these rainstorms will be dangerously heavier and less predictable, as seen with Saturday's floods. 

President Biden expressed his condolences to victims of the Tennesse floods.

Last night, Biden tweeted out his support for the victims and their communities. 


As rescue efforts continue, family and friends are taking to a board in the county's emergency center to post names of those who are currently MIA. The names of the missing are also listed on the Wavery Department of Public Safety's Facebook page, which is being updated accordingly.

A Gofundme for the twins' family is taking off. 

Charity Hooks, a cousin of the family, set up a Gofundme in hopes of garnering donations to cover the costs of the children's funeral and home repairs. As of right now, over $50k has been raised. 


Our hearts go out to those affected by the deadly flooding. You can help others who've been impacted by donating to the Tennessee Emergency Response Fund and The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. 

RELATED: So You Want To Help Women & Girls In Afghanistan — 6 Ways To Provide Real Support Today

Yona Dervishi is a writer who is currently working at YourTango as an editorial intern. She covers topics pertaining to self-care, radical acceptance, news, and entertainment.