Despite the devastation, Pinewood carries on.
Located just south of Interstate 40 and north of Centerville, the slow process of recovery continues in the unincorporated community after heavy rains fueled the Piney River's swift rise on Saturday morning, damaging a handful of the estimated 17 homes swept away or flooded in Hickman County.
Emergency responders have not reported any fatalities in the county. Meanwhile, other communities report at least 21 dead as of Tuesday.
The proud community too small for its own official designation is now a center point for the relief effort in the region.
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The county's emergency management department has transformed a storm shelter into a storage facility for hundreds of pounds of donated food, water and other essential supplies, an effort to support residents displaced by the floodwaters that have since receded.
Despite calling on the public to halt donations, a truckload of supplies arrived early Tuesday afternoon.
On the opposite side of the well-traveled Highway 48, the Pinewood Kitchen & Mercantile, the only restaurant in town, is expected to remain closed for weeks over concerns about water quality.
A ranch turned upside down
As the waters receded earlier in the week, the restaurant's owner, Lee McCormick, returned to his nearby 1,100-acre family farm to find two of the property's 60-year-old buildings uprooted.
The cookhouse and a converted office erected in the 1960s were lifted off its foundations by raging flood waters and plopped down at the edge of the property, along the Piney River.
The farm provides much of the food offered at McCormick's restaurant.
"It's hard enough to keep your head above water, no pun intended," McCormick said, "in the cattle business and independent non-corporate farming.
"I don't get upset with nature because this is nature, and we are a part of nature.This is a ... nightmare, but I don't take it personally."
McCormick said each of his 20-plus horses and 400 cattle were accounted for, but the rising waters damaged more than $600,000 worth of farming equipment. On parts of the property, water rose above 15 feet.
"It is very surreal," his daughter, Anna McCormick Rowe, said as she walked through the land she has known since childhood, the property now covered in mud and debris.
"It all happened within minutes," Rowe added. "Mother nature reminds you that you are not in charge."
Rowe spent the afternoon cleaning saddles that were stored in the farm's main barn, previously submerged by flood waters.
The saddles have remained in the family for four generations.
"Life goes on," Rowe said. "That is something you learn to accept in this line of business. There are just so many factors in it that you can't control."
The ranch, which has been in the McCormick's family for more than 30 years, also was hit during the region's devastating 2010 flood.
Last week's flood caused more damage to the property.
This time, the floodwaters rose to the base of the property's farmhouse, which has stood atop a hill overlooking the property since the 1840s — possibly the oldest continuously inhabited home in the county.
"From the time that it started raining to the time this place was under water — it took about three hours," McCormick said. "Everything you could see here was under water. It was crazy the amount of water we had. The weather has changed so much.
"We don't have any business building houses in these creek bottoms anymore. There is a lot to it. This is global warming. You can argue about who is causing it, if you want to, but the fact of the matter is that the weather is changing, and it is changing fast."
Mental health, recovery center evacuated
Further along Pinewood Road, The Ranch Tennessee, a treatment center for mental health disorders, compulsive behaviors and addictions that McCormick founded, had two buildings destroyed by the rising waters.
Staff member Joel Wilkerson said the center's clients were evacuated as he prepared the property for a clean-up crew.
"The river came up out of the banks at about 7:30 on Saturday morning," Wilkerson said.
He said the water reached 10 feet at the center, submerging one building and the first floor of another.
Another two buildings at the center were washed away by the waters, and the center's three remaining buildings will require extensive repairs.
The water also destroyed a tool shed, tearing the roof and walls from the foundation of the structure.
"I am just glad that all we have lost here is property," Wilkerson said. "I feel for the people in Waverly where we have such a terrible loss of life. It pales in comparison to this."
A new sense of community
As he continued his work, Wilkerson said the community continues to rely on one another as the recovery effort continues.
"We have all been helping each other out with water and food," Wilkerson said. "We are doing the best we can. Everybody is glad that everybody is safe. It is just a terrible situation, but we are doing the best that we can."
He said the nearby restaurant has become a gathering place during the difficult time with locals sharing meals and offering aid to one another.
It is the very thing that McCormick fears the region is losing because of an encroaching rise of property prices. This leaves farmers unable to pay for the land they own with the profits from harvests and livestock.
"When I moved here in the 1980s, there were still family farms, but they don't exist here anymore because people bought them up, and for the families that sold them, that is great, but there is no community here anymore because you can't make a living. The people who have been born and raised here, they need to go to Nashville to work.
"We are losing the soul and the fabric of the community."
Jeff Thomas, a captain of the nearby Bucksnort Volunteer Fire Department, stood at the community's storm shelter filled with supplies donated by local churches and other members of the public.
"It is really nice to see the whole community come together like this," Thomas said.
Reach Mike Christen at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MikeChristenCDH and on Instagram @michaelmarco. Please consider supporting his work and that of other Daily Herald journalists by subscribing to the publication.
This article originally appeared on The Daily Herald: Pinewood community reflects as cleanup moves forward in Hickman County