Tennessee Flood Update

Posted by Annie on May 8, 2010 in Seasonal |

Nashville Flood Relief Poster by Mattson Creative

Another Nashville Flood Update from Kay Brooks…

I didn’t mention my family because we are just fine. No one wants to hear us whine about how we lost Internet or that our phone line crackles as badly as a Sunchips bag or that we couldn’t take our usual route to work for a few days or that the city smells bad.

Not even close family members suffered. We were nearly completely spared. And that makes the whole thing even more surreal.

We are located just across the river from the Opryland Hotel that was so severely flooded. They turned a popular amusement park into a mall and huge convention center. They knew they were in a flood plain and installed all sorts of storm water and water retaining features in order to protect their investment-state of the art stuff. It was to no avail…obviously.

We sit very high above the river, maybe 150 feet above…but just two blocks away are homes that sit in the 100 year flood plain (some of them low income housing mandated and built by the city). I’ve been told this was a 1,000 year flood. Thousands of people who were told they couldn’t get flood insurance because they were not floodable are now caught in bureaucratic crack.

The locals have certainly stepped up. We can only assume the press ignored us because we were handling it. People working hard to take care of themselves isn’t sexy or bloody, it’s boring.

The neighborhood email lists, Twitter feeds and Facebook pages are lit up with information being passed on, requests being posted and nearly immediately being met. Nashvillest, on Twitter may be the premier feed for working information. Check in with local ABC affiliate TV reporter Christine Manddela for everything else.

WKRN News  has done an amazing job at covering this event. Frankly, I’m glad the president and the press have ignored us. We’ve got more important things to do than escort Lookie Lous around for photo ops and ratings.

We still have one of our two water treatment plants off line. They’ve got the new parts on the way and are working as quickly as they can to get it back on line. In the meantime water rationing is required and the police are serious about shutting down car washes. People are conserving water and we’re making progress at restoring our reserves to ensure we’ll have water for drinking and fire protection.

I passed a filthy police car yesterday and was glad to see it hadn’t been washed and then realized where it must have been to get that filthy.

Restaurants downtown are already announcing they’ll be open next week. Even
BB King’s on First Ave., next to the river. People are working very hard. Opryland has announced they will be restored and reopened well before the end of the year. I’ve heard story after story of people completely cleaning up and safeguarding their stuff in just two days!

The edges of neighborhood streets are filling up with trash, separated into piles for processing by the Department of Public Works. One major private employer in town has offered impacted workers two weeks of paid vacation in order to deal with this. That’ll kick start some others to be generous in kind, but generosity seems to be the order of the day.

So many are  folks pitching in, bringing food for those volunteers and offering
what they have. Nashville Freecycle is filling up with offers for flood victims. People so badly want to step up and help that they’re frustrated when they can’t be put to work immediately. It’s hard for them to wait. But wait they must because there has to be some order and care about how it’s all done. Just got a notice from the Police Department encouraging volunteers to car pool  as there is no place in neighborhoods for all these caring people to park!

Here is a video  created by a friend, Greg Persinger,  of the intersection, just three blocks from our home…and very much downhill from us.

That tree line on the right follows the banks Cooper Creek. Which can only be counted on to have water after a good rain. It usually flows into the Cumberland River. This week it flowed the other way.

Dalewood Baptist was spared despite this being in their yard and they’ve been offering meals, shelter and hot showers-like so many churches and the Jewish Community Center.

Hands on Nashville is an organization that has a long history of linking Nashville volunteers with needs in the city. They won’t mis-use your donations. Neither will the Salvation Army here in town, down on 1st street.

Back to work. Thanks for your concern. We’re gonna be OK.

Kay Brooks,

500 year flood hit Nashville, here is how you can help,
visit: The Grable Group  for details.

Sportswriter Patten Fuqua reflects on the flood…

But let’s look at the other side of the coin for a moment. A large part of the reason that we are being ignored is because of who we are. Think about that for just a second. Did you hear about looting? Did you hear about crime sprees? No…you didn’t. You heard about people pulling their neighbors off of rooftops. You saw a group of people trying to move two horses to higher ground. No…we didn’t loot. Our biggest warning was, “Don’t play in the floodwater.” When you think about it…that speaks a lot for our city. A large portion of why we were being ignored was that we weren’t doing anything to draw attention to ourselves. We were handling it on our own.

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