Tennessee Mom Recalls Putting Infant on Top of Kitchen Cabinet to Save Her From Rising Floodwaters

“All I was doing was begging God to make the rain stop.”

Flooding Waverly Tennessee
Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

New mom Vanessa Yates woke up around 9 a.m. Saturday to find her home in Waverly, Tennessee, filled with calf-high water.

"In just a short amount of time, I don't know how long it was, but it felt like it wasn't long. The water continued to rise, and it got very high very quickly," Vanessa, whose husband Anthony was at work in another town, recalled to WKRN.

With the water rising to her chest, she could think only of her four-month-old daughter. She said she did the only thing she could to keep her safe.

"I went and got on the kitchen counter, and I put her as far as I could in the top cabinet. I just stood on the top of the kitchen counter," Vanessa told the local news station. "I thought, before I got onto the counter, I for sure thought we were going to drown. Me and my baby wouldn't make it."

Fortunately, Vanessa's brother-in-law was able to get a hold of a kayak and managed to rescue her and the baby just in time.

The Yates are one of countless Middle Tennessee families devastated by flash flooding after more than 17 inches of rain in less than 24 hours Saturday. At least 22 people have died as a result of the flooding, and dozens are still missing.

WATCH: How to Help Our Middle Tennessee Neighbors After the Catastrophic Flooding This Weekend

"All I was doing was begging God to make the rain stop," Vanessa told WKRN. "The house next to us was on fire, and I just wanted out of there so bad. I am just so thankful that they came and got us. I was just so relieved."

Find out how you can help with the rescue and recovery efforts here.

Our hearts are with all those impacted by this catastrophic event.

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