Saturday, May 15, 2010

Flood of 2010

In case you haven't heard, Nashville has flooded.  As in, boat down the middle of the street flooded.  It is the single largest disaster to hit middle Tennessee since the Civil War.  It is being reported to be the largest non-hurricane disaster in U.S. History, creating over a billion dollars in damage.  Hundreds, possibly thousands, of people have lost everything.  Everything.  Houses, posessions, cars, pets.  Everything.  And it happened fast.  People went in to the mall to go shopping.  When they came out their car was under water.  And I don't mean there was a big puddle.  I mean under water. 

Chris and I went to the Jimmy Buffett concert.  The next day the arena the concert was in had a foot of flood water on the very floor Jimmy had been playing on.  How did this happen?  It rained.  A lot.  Nashville received record breaking amounts of rain in a 48 hour period, and there was no place for the water to go.  The Cumberland River flooded it's banks.  The Harpeth River flooded.  Rivers and streams flooded.  I cannot put into words the devestation this has caused.  The Opryland Hotel - a huge destination area for weddings, conventions, proms, dinner, events, tourists, et cetera - is closed.  And will remain closed until at least Christmas. 

While all of this flooding was taking place, David and Jack were spending the night with my in-laws at their house, an hour from our house.  We left to get them at 7:30 Sunday morning.  Their basement was flooding, trees had fallen on their garage and a storage shed.  The cap for the chimney blew off and water was coming into the house through the fireplace.  They had no electricity.  And they had two-thirds of my children.  It took us three hours to get there and 5 to get home.  It was the scariest drive ever.  We had to turn around because roads were flooded over.  We had to drive backwards on the interstate because waters spilled over the concrete medians onto the other side.  We had to drive over trees that had fallen on single lane roads where we had no cell signal.  And no idea where we were.  It was terrible.  But we are all safe, and our home and belongings are safe.  That is not the case for so many people. 

People are living in tents and RVs, with family and friends, and shelters are overflowing.  People are having to rip their houses apart, down to the studs, to see if there is anything salvagable.  They have to put their belongings in garbage bags on the curb to picked up by the garbage truck.  They have no flood insurance, because they did not live in a flood plain. 

While I'm not turning this into a political discussion, I will point out that Obama hasn't been here.  Why?  Maybe because he hasn't had to.  Because We Are Nashville.

Never have I been so proud to live where I do.  People are not complaining; they are volunteering to help.  People are not crying about what they have lost; they are helping their neighbor save what can be saved.  People are not stealing and looting; they are donating.  People are not running away from the problem; they are running to help.  It makes me so sad to see what people have lost.  And so proud to see what we, as the greater Nashville community, will gain because of this.

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

Very well written, I agree 100%. Nashville is like no other city when it comes to helping each other and working together as one.