A body of a toddler has been found by a search team after devastating floodwaters killed at least 22 people in Tennessee.
Authorities believe that it is the missing two-year-old boy, Kellen Cole Burrow, who was swept away from his mother’s arms.
The boy’s family was called to Three Rivers Hospital in Waverly after the child’s body was found in the wreckage of the storm.
According to the National Weather Service Nashville, flash floods came after 17 inches of rain fell over parts of Tennessee on Saturday.
Kellen’s mother, Brittney LeAnn McCord, was outside their family’s apartment with her five children when the waters suddenly rose.
She grabbed onto her children but the strong surge ripped Kellen away from her arms.
Kellen’s grandfather, Chris Hixson, received the news on Tuesday while he was searching for the young boy.
“They got him,” he cried, the Daily Mail reported. “I need to get hold of my wife and my daughter.”
Hixson rushed to the hospital where he told the nurse: “We was told they might have found a body – a young child’s body.”
A doctor told the grandfather: “There’s a toddler found. We want to confirm if it’s him through DNA.”
Kellen’s maternal grandfather, Allen Burrow, and Kellen’s mother, Brittany McCord, waited outside the hospital for the DNA results.
“If he could be found alive, it would be better, but this (confirmation) would bring us some closure,” he expressed. “I get strength from the Good Lord. I break down, but not in front of her (his daughter).”
Describing his daughter’s heroic efforts to save her children, the grandfather said: “She gathered them up in the corner bedroom, and got them all out the window as the current got higher and higher.”
Brittany then tried to hold onto her young children on the porch before the floodwaters swept Kellen away.
“She grade him yelling ‘mommy, mommy’ and all she could do was watch because she had her hands on her other kids,” he said.
Kellen’s father found a boat and used two shovels to paddle it. “He couldn’t make it to him,” the grandfather said. “But he saved four to five people in his effort to get to him.”
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