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The Nashville Floods

Disasters 2010 Nashville floods

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#1 Vapor Trails

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 10:07 PM

I'm surprised this hasn't been mentioned here yet. There is a horrific flood in Nashville Tennessee that as of this writing has claimed 29 lives. :( Seeing pictures of it on the news, it looks eerily like New Orleans did after Katrina. :(

I also just learned that Rush was recording their new album there. :( Oops... :(
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#2 Vapor Trails

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 11:21 PM

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Cumberland River finally began receding Tuesday, exposing mud-caked homes and submerged cars as officials searched door to door for more victims of a record-busting flash flood and weekend storm already blamed for nearly 30 deaths.

No new fatalities were reported Tuesday and it was unclear whether anyone remained missing.

The weekend deluge swept many motorists to their deaths even after forecasters and Nashville's mayor warned people not to drive. But staying put carried frightening consequences for others as the swollen Cumberland and its tributaries started pouring into thousands of homes.

"I kept watching TV that was my source, and (Mayor) Karl Dean was saying stay put, don't drive," Nashville resident Cheri Newlin said. Police eventually told Newlin to evacuate on Monday, but by then, the water was so close that she had to flee by boat, leaving her three cats behind. She is now at a shelter and hasn't been able to get back to her house to check on her pets and assess damage.

By Tuesday, the flash floods were blamed in the deaths of 17 people in Tennessee alone, including nine in Nashville. At least nine people died in vehicles in Tennessee. Others were found in their homes or yards, including an elderly couple discovered in their Nashville home. A 21-year-old Nashville resident died when he tried to wade the waters in front of his home but got swept away in the current.

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Sections of downtown and some of Music City's popular tourist attractions remained flooded Tuesday, including the Grand Ole Opry House and the Country Music Hall of Fame. Full damage estimates were unavailable, but the Opryland Hotel alone suffered more than $75 million in damage; it will be closed for three to six months.


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Residents in some of the hardest hit areas said they didn't know if they should flee or stick it out for fear that if they left their homes, they would be swept away by the muddy waters that turned streets into virtual rivers.

"We had less than an hour to get out," said Amanda Fatherree. She left her home on Nashville's west side Sunday after her mother yelled that the Harpeth River, normally located a quarter-mile away, had crept up to her back porch.

Nashville resident Judy Kestner had thought everything was going to be OK Saturday night when she went to bed. The water in her backyard had started receding, and there were no warnings of anything other than flash floods.

But then the howlings of her Siberian husky awoke her at 3 a.m. Sunday. The dog had been trapped in about 3 feet of rising water.

"It was up to her nose. She was barely getting air," said Kestner, 54.

Robert Strunk, a retired computer designer who now works at the Opry House, wasn't told to leave until nearly midnight Saturday, and by then, it was too late to drive. Instead, he waded through water up to his thighs carrying his two dogs away from his Nashville home.

"It's hard enough to walk with two dogs. I'm 77 years old. I couldn't carry clothes or anything," he said.

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Flash flood watches were issued on Friday, but National Weather Service meteorologist Larry Vannozzi said the service also took the rare step on Saturday to relay an emergency message warning people to stay off the roads.

"We didn't just barely beat the record and we didn't beat it by a decent amount. We absolutely crushed the record for two-day rainfall in Nashville," he said. "I don't want to seem too dramatic here, but this is off-the-charts record stuff."

:(
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Politicians are like bananas; they hang together, they're all yellow, and there's not a straight one among them.

"We're relevant for $ and a vote once every two years. Beyond that, we're completely irrelevant, except of course to consume, and preach the gospel according to [insert political demigod here]."--Cait

#3 Bad Wolf

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 12:48 AM

I'm sending good thoughts.  Especially to our ExIslers down there like Themis.
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#4 SparkyCola

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 05:49 AM

^ Indeed. Please check in all Tennessee EIers.

We get a LOT of floods over here. :( *sends good thoughts*

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#5 Themis

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 09:44 AM

I was fairly lucky.  My house is on a bit of a hill and not too near a river.  I just had saturated ground and my basement was flooded - it's happened before but this is the first time I've seen standing water (maybe 1/4") on the carpet and in the bathroom floor.   Moved the cat litter box upstairs from the bathroom!  Shop vac not effective on the wet litter on the floor which just became wet clay... I have a whole house fan that I'm moving around downstairs.  It's industrial carpet just laid on cement floor so I think just drying it out will be ok.  I had the foresight to go downstairs Saturday night and move everything paper and cardboard off the floor (devil cat Samantha knocks a lot of stuff off shelves and onto the floor...)  When I see the damage inflicted on so many others, I feel lucky.  Plenty of photos at tennessean.com .   Damage to the Opryland Hotel will have major impact on the economy as it brings in a lot of convention business, not to mention taxes.  So many people who lost everything; so many others with major property and possession damage.  Officially 13.5" of rain over the weekend.  New symphony center lost an organ, two pianos, much other damage.   The basements of many downtown buildings flooded.  Clean up will be particularly yucky as the flood water contains raw sewage... One water treatment plant out of service so we're being asked to conserve water...yet idiots are washing cars and watering lawns (Watering lawns????  Must be automatic sprinklers).  I tried a Swiffer wet jet on the bathroom floor but it just becomes wet clay so I think I'll have to resort to a real mop and elbow grease, and I'll be a good person and wait until the water restrictions are lifted.  (Any suggestions?!)

So...the city is a mess and will be for quite awhile.
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#6 Bad Wolf

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 11:47 AM

How's the response time on clean-up coming?  I hope they learned SOMETHING from Katrina!
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#7 Themis

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 12:29 PM

There are reports right now of places to pick up bottled water with more coming.  There are still some Red Cross shelters open.  Cleanup started Monday.  All the water is now out of the 2nd water treatment plant and they can work at getting it working on.  Lots of volunteers at work through Hands On Nashville.  Electricity not on in parts of downtown and the areas with the most flooding.  Downtown it's because so much of every building's electricity workings are in flooded basements.  Four counties declared federal disaster areas so people can register with FEMA, and a FEMA rep was here Monday.  Unlike Katrina, the floods didn't hit the poorer parts of town.  Bellevue and Franklin (latter outside of Metro Nashville) which were hit hard are fairly well-to-do areas.  Radio and tv stations all functioning pumping out information and phone numbers frequently.  Nothing like Katrina with jillions of people inside one stadium (the stadium's flooded anyway...).  Job fair tomorrow for people to work construction... Everything seems to be very organized.  There were some problems evacuating 1,500 people from the Opryland Hotel - poor communication and people didn't bring meds and such.  They were taken to a nearby high school gym.  Hotel employees went back to get things for them.  Very few people had flood insurance since they weren't in a flood plain.  I haven't heard if they're bringing in any temporary housing units for people whose homes are uninhabitable.  One tv station has already organized a telethon for Thursday to benefit Red Cross, Second Harvest and Salvation Army headlining Mr. Charity, Vince Gill, plus Keith Urban and other country stars - guess they're not out on tour yet.  So - relief seems very organized but I haven't heard anything about temporary housing.

Loads of information is on line at nashville.gov, specifically http://www.nashville...ases/100505.asp , which they mention at every news conference.

Omega, are you out there??

Edited by Themis, 05 May 2010 - 12:36 PM.

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#8 Tricia

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 01:11 PM

Themis!!!

Glad to see you are doing okay or as much as you can be

Likely the lawn watering is automatic sprinklers.  Earlier this winter when it froze so badly the news people showed lots of weird formations from the sprinkler systems...all automatic and no one thought to turn them off

But washing their cars?

Out of curiosity I checked the website for the CMA  Fan Fest earlier and they are saying...so far...that it is still on.  It's around June 10 so maybe they think they will be okay.

Word is that lots of folks there have no flood insurance.

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#9 Omega

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 01:32 PM

Glad you're okay, Themis!  I'm good, no serious damage to anything.  My wife and I did get caught in Bellevue Saturday afternoon, and had to stay with family there until Sunday afternoon.  They only just got cell service back last night, as the tower there was under water.  All my family and friends seem to have gotten through okay.  The mess is tremendous, though.  One co-worker said that his house in a rural outlying area (named... Bon Aqua...) is okay, but the road to get to it was demolished, and there's now a creek running through where it was.  It will be months before they can get back to their house.

I was worried the rain would continue through Monday.  What a horror that would have been.  I'm definitely preparing a better emergency kit for my car now.

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