The Dampening of Nashville
May 4, 2010
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:
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:
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.
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: