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The Dampening of Nashville

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Dear Kay,
OK so it turns out that Greg, that guy I talked to on the phone yesterday who was going to suck it all up and dry it all out? Total hallucination. Have not heard a peep from the guy. I bet he’s out helping somebody a lot worse off than we were.
The weirdest part of it all–the water in the basement thing–is that yesterday morning we awoke, and it was gone. A half a foot of water, come and gone in a day. The ground was so saturated that the water just came in, up through cracks in the floor like a horror movie. This happened to others around here, I’m hearing. I had no idea we were in a tidal plain.
I was moved to tears to see a 12-gallon Ridgid shopvac show up in our doorway. Friends.
Everywhere you go, somebody is telling a story about what they’ve seen, what they themselves are dealing with, and the word surreal comes up a lot. We drove out toward Bellevue yesterday, out Harding Road–the road of my childhood, the way into town. How many times have I driven that road?
Here’s what it looked like on Saturday:
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Ten, fifteen feet of fast water. The current from the flooded Richland Creek ripped up pavement, floated stacked stone walls, and generally trashed the place. Most heartbreaking is that it took at least two lives–the bodies were found yesterday, a half mile downstream from their stalled car.
It’s the photos from the air that really get us. I think about our measly wet basement, look at these images, and my heart gets very heavy.
Because this has been called a 300-year sort of event, a lot of the flooding is in areas that nobody thought would ever flood. Which means that very few people had flood insurance. We have a friend who lives here, near the Opryland Hotel:
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And because she’s an extraordinarily careful person, she has flood insurance. But that’s cold comfort, you know? She hasn’t even been able to get home yet to see what she’s dealing with.
Donations to flood relief can be made here.
Love,
Ann
PS I heard a new verb conjugation this morning: “It fled pretty good on us, then it kept coming, I tell you what.”
PSS A haunting video by Nashvillian Michael Deppisch:

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52 Comments

52 Comments

  1. Wow, that’s something. Reminds me of the flooding in Iowa a few years back. I know they are still recovering so I do hope and pray that the waters recede quickly and that you get all the help you need for your city.

  2. Thanks for the update. The best blog and pictures I have seen are here. And the linked video is better than anything I have seen anywhere. Stay dry. I am hearing the stories at school…
    http://marktucker.wordpress.com/

  3. Wow! That is damp, all right! I hope things dry out soon, and life can return to normal. Amazing!

  4. Those pictures are wild. I’ve been thinking of you all week. Hopefully it’s on it’s way out. I’m glad your family is safe.

  5. Oh, Ann, how tragic — so much loss. The aerial views are incredibly moving. (Thank you for the “fled” quotation; I’m from WV, so I appreciate a good colloquialism. It fleds pretty good up there, too.)

  6. Ann, I’m sorry you had the water in the basement. It is surreal. It happened to us back in September during Atlanta’s 500 year flood. The ground couldn’t hold anymore water. It was unreal.
    I hope Nashville dries out soon. Glad you are safe. (You being family and you, you)

  7. Looks a bit like the ATL last September. Glad the water is gone from your home. Now just get it dried out. We were lucky last year and did not sustain any personal flooding or water damage, but there was major damage and record flooding in other parts of the city. Again, glad you are ok!

  8. We’ve had similar floods in the UK over the last couple of years – makes you wonder just what’s going on. So difficult for everyone involved.

  9. My heart just goes out to everyone.

  10. Those photos bring back memories for me here in NW Ohio. We had ‘Ye Olde 100 (+) Year Flood’ in 2007. Muddy Water everywhere. Glad you just had groundwater with no where else to go. Just remember, shop your Stash and ‘Knit On’. But wait until people start sorting & throwing out stuff.

  11. So sorry you are going through this, Ann! Stay calm and carry on, and make sure your stash is upstairs!

  12. We had an 8-day catasrophe a few years back and “surreal” was a pretty good word for it. As crappy as the water makes you feel, though, isn’t it just unbelievably eye-opening how AMAZING your neighbors and community really are? The water has since gone, the electricty is back on and the roads were cleared but that renewed sense of community still lingers.

  13. We had an 8-day catasrophe a few years back and “surreal” was a pretty good word for it. As crappy as the water makes you feel, though, isn’t it just unbelievably eye-opening how AMAZING your neighbors and community really are? The water has since gone, the electricty is back on and the roads were cleared but that renewed sense of community still lingers.

  14. Wow. It’s almost like planet earth is going through a mid-life crisis and we all have to live with it. Flooding, earthquakes, volcanos, and more. It’s awe-inspiring and horrifying all at the same time.

  15. I have a basement, so heartened to hear that your water receded, hope all is well.
    Be careful about the “300 year” idea. Albany, GA had a “500 year” flood thanks to hurricane/tropical storm Alberto. We’d moved from there about six months earlier… if still there we would have been 6′ of water in our living room… knew this because we saw our former domicile on the Weather Channel! Man was trying to get into the second story in a row boat… Then several years later Albany had a “300 year” flooding.
    Climate change, impermeable surfaces, runoff, population increases – Atlanta GA had some flooding on Monday (not as much rain, but some of the same flooding in some of the same areas that had the horrible water levels last year) and now maybe we can begin to address some of these issues. We’re going to have to.
    Taking Nashville flooding personally as we’ve got friends moving back to the US, from New Zealand. We also had friends who went to Vanderbilt back in the day, and have visited many times. Many areas (The Narrows!) around Nashville are lovely, I am so very saddened to see this. Hoping it will never happen again. Give ‘em a chance to clean up a bit, and please go visit Nashville, it is definitely worth it.

  16. I love that quote – that pretty much sums it up. I tell you what, indeed. Thanks for the photo of Harding Rd. The street of my childhood too. I tried to get in to town via Hwy 100 this morning. Just to see if I could. No luck. Sneed Rd. was closed too. Kroger on Hwy 100 in Bellevue was a wasteland – no refrigerated items, nothing in the freezer cases except thawed and re-frozen pizza boxes, ropes strung through the handles with a note: “not for sale!” Aside from a wet basement and a washed out street and driveway, we’re fine. I feel so fortunate. And am surprised by how little coverage we seem to be getting in the national media. As my husband said, some of the aerial photos look like New Orleans.
    Glad you’re okay and that the basement dried out all by itself! Good Basement! You get a gold star!

  17. Oh, my! I hope the water recedes soon, drying occurs quickly and the power gets turned on post haste. Best wishes to y’all.

  18. Thinking of y’all. Amazing how powerless we really are in the face of weather.

  19. Good luck to you!
    I saw that the beautiful new concert hall (which I visited in November) was totally flooded. They lost all the state of the art mechanicals in the basement, their concert grand pianos, etc. And I just got off the phone with a friend who just moved to Nashville….this last week-end. She said it was unbelievable. All over her furniture making the move in all that rain. At least her new house didn’t flood.

  20. Good luck to you!
    I saw that the beautiful new concert hall (which I visited in November) was totally flooded. They lost all the state of the art mechanicals in the basement, their concert grand pianos, etc. And I just got off the phone with a friend who just moved to Nashville….this last week-end. She said it was unbelievable. All over her furniture making the move in all that rain. At least her new house didn’t flood.

  21. Hi- For your friends dealing with the flood – please visit http://www.extension.iastate.edu – check out our resources for dealing with flooding. Cedar Rapids, IA had a 500 year flood just 2 years ago. We are still dealing with it. Houses were just being bought out this year. My heart goes out to you and your community. If Extension can be of support – please send me an email.

  22. Hi- For your friends dealing with the flood – please visit http://www.extension.iastate.edu – check out our resources for dealing with flooding. Cedar Rapids, IA had a 500 year flood just 2 years ago. We are still dealing with it. Houses were just being bought out this year. My heart goes out to you and your community. If Extension can be of support – please send me an email.

  23. Dear An,
    This is so sad. Reminds me of the pictures of eastern NC after Floyd back in 1999. May you and all who you care for be safe.

  24. Ann, I’m glad you are relatively fine. I’d like to thank you and Kay for a brilliant blog.

  25. Hi Ann, I’m glad you have come through the flood relatively unscathed. It boggles the mind to see these pictures. It boggles even more when you realize that before the system of dams was built on the Tennessee River by the Tennessee Valley Authority, this kind of thing was the rule rather than the exception. Here’s hoping the water recedes quickly.

  26. Surreal, indeed! Ann, I am so very sorry. Those photos frm the air tell the whole story. Bless those friends with the shopvac, and bless you all, too.
    LoveDiane

  27. dear ann happy to hear from you
    the storm passes the sun comes out-but
    the storms of life do not pass as quickly
    take care

  28. How awful – looks like eastern NC after Hurricane Floyd in 1999. Ours was a 500 year flood – ok with us if it doesn’t reoccur for 500 centuries. It is so sad to see your area going through the same thing.
    God Bless You all.

  29. Wow, I can’t even imagine it. That video is really something!

  30. Glad you are OK, but so sad about the flooding. My son goes to college in Providence–he was OK during the recent flooding there, but many others were not so lucky. I hope Nashville recovers soon! Floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and ash clouds–can’t help but feel the earth is angry at us.

  31. So glad you are safe. We are heartbroken at what has happened in Nashville, which is our favorite city (the one we’d move to in a heartbeat!). We spent the weekend checking calling friends, all of whom, luckily, were relatively unscathed by the flooding. But the Schermerhorn Center and the Hall of Fame being flooded was more than I could take…two of my favorite places in the entire world. Hubby is worrying about Gruhn Guitars (his definite favorite place in the whole world).

  32. Glad you are OK. Had no idea that the flooding was so extensive and terrifying.

  33. The video is so sorrowful which is what the hearts of America are feeling right now. But the flag that is still waving bravely in the rain gives us all hope. God Bless everyone affected by this disaster.

  34. That is incomprehensible to me living in a semi-arrid state!

  35. That is incomprehensible to me living in a semi-arrid state!

  36. That is incomprehensible to me living in a semi-arrid state!

  37. That is incomprehensible to me living in a semi-arrid state!

  38. That is incomprehensible to me living in a semi-arrid state!

  39. That is incomprehensible to me living in a semi-arrid state!

  40. Haunting video and music. Reminded me of Katrina aftermath and of the floods in Rapid City. However, the first shot had me thinking “$2.76 for gas!?” [We're up to $3.23 at some stations here in the Chicago suburbs. A trivial reaction, I know.]

  41. Oh that video got me. I have friend in Nashville too. They live near Vanderbilt. Their house didn’t get hit, but just down the street. It is just amazing to see the damage. My heart is there.

  42. Thinking about you and all of Nashville, Ann…

  43. My heart and prayers are with you. I live in Rhode Island and we are still cleaning up after extensive flooding last month. Thousands of people are still homeless…massive loss of property and jobs…but thankfully no lives were lost. Peace be with you.

  44. We are so not in control. If I say “hope everyone’s stash stays dry,” I hope it’s understood as a metaphor.
    Sending love and good wishes,
    (a real control freak),
    Helen

  45. We are so not in control. If I say “hope everyone’s stash stays dry,” I hope it’s understood as a metaphor.
    Sending love and good wishes,
    (a real control freak),
    Helen

  46. We are so not in control. If I say “hope everyone’s stash stays dry,” I hope it’s understood as a metaphor.
    Sending love and good wishes,
    (a real control freak),
    Helen

  47. Wow. Just…. WOW. I am in stunned silence here.
    (Looking at the comments ahead of me, I wonder how many times this one will appear. They seem to be breeding like rabbits, the comments.)

  48. Wow. Stay safe! We had flooding like that here in Iowa City 2 years ago, and it was even worse in Cedar Rapids, where homes that had been sitting safe and dry next to the river for 80 years or more were destroyed. It’s scary, scary, scary. Even though my place didn’t flood, I never want to live near water now – and I’ve always loved water.

  49. Ugh. My thoughts and prayers are you will all. I was in Iowa City for the 2008 floods and I know what you all are going through. My BF had 4 feet of water in his house and we had to evacuate him and our cats. All the majors roads were closed and it was hard to get from point A to point B. Floods are just crazy. All the best.

  50. Ugh. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. I was in Iowa City for the 2008 floods and I know what you all are going through. My BF had 4 feet of water in his house and we had to evacuate him and our cats. All the majors roads were closed and it was hard to get from point A to point B. Floods are just crazy. All the best.

  51. I’m up on the ridge in Robertson County. Thankfully we are not affected by the flood. But it is our home city and it is so sad to hear the stories and look at the pictures. I’m saturated(pun intended!) by all of them. I can’t bring myself to click on your links. Surreal and overwhelming!

  52. Thank you for sharing the video. It is haunting indeed. My brother and sister-in-law are in Murfreesboro, but lived in Smyrna and Antioch before that. I’m in Ohio and have only the videos like yours and many others by which to judge the full extent of this disaster. Take care!