Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I spoke too soon.

Yesterday afternoon, I found a story online that referred to the aftermath of the Nashville flood as a tale of two cities. "Higher elevations began drying out under sunny blue skies but urgent rescue operations were still under way in vast swaths of the city and its suburbs covered in floodwater that won't begin receding until later this week." I found this article, of course, after I published my post titled, "After the flood." After. Obviously I am one of the lucky ones. I was high and dry and completely oblivious to the devastation continuing to happen all around me.

I guess I turned off the local news too soon.

It's just that from where I sit, it really is hard to imagine there's still a flood going on. Even when I ventured away from my house yesterday around noon, things seemed fairly under control. Liam and I drove over the Cumberland River and through downtown to get to a sculpt class and a swim at the YMCA, and while the river way crazy high, spanning all the way from 1st street to Titan's stadium, it seemed like the clean up effort was under way and progress was being made.

On our way home; detour past the Titan's stadium.

When I turned on the TV much later in the day, I was shocked to see what was happening.

The Grand Ole Opry, Opryland Hotel and Opry Mills Mall were all under water (10 feet inside the hotel). The Country Music Hall of Fame, Schermerhorn Symphony, Titan's Stadium and many other Nashville landmarks were all flooded. Downtown Nashville was completely without power. People who had survived the storm and weekend flooding were suddenly forced to evacuate (many in boats) as the water continued to rise.

I honestly had no idea.

And I guess, really, a lot of people didn't. If you were outside of the affected areas and didn't happen to turn on the Weather Channel, there was a very good chance you would have had no idea there was a catastrophe under way. Curious as to what kind of national coverage our drowning city was getting, Bill and I checked out all the major news networks on Saturday night, Sunday, Monday...and never once saw anything about Tennessee. It was a continuous loop about the "possible" car bomb in Times Square. Over and over and over they played the same footage and said the same things. It didn't feel like news so much as something they were desperately trying to make into news. Meanwhile in Nashville, the water continued to rise...

Image from The Tennessean.

Late yesterday afternoon, Liam and I walked down to Shelby Bottoms park with some friends to get a first hand look at some of the damage. It definitely gave me the perspective I'd been missing. The Cumberland River had merged with the duckpond forming a huge lake that covered the softball fields, the golf course, the playground...everything as far as the eye could see. It was all under water.

Vinny Links Golf Course.

Softball fields and snack shack.

It's all sad and depressing until you see rednecks playing in sewage!

Last night we were pleasantly surprised to catch a glimpse of Nashville on something other than a local affiliate.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

We would have missed this too had it not been for a friend's posting on Facebook. It's been an unexpected source of news and information during this ordeal and a great way to keep tabs on friends or neighbors who might need help. It's been really inspiring to see everyone pitch in and help each other out and makes it easy to see why Tennessee is called "The Volunteer State."

BTW: There's a great list of volunteer opportunities HERE if you want to help. And if you're local and want to pitch in (or just need to dry out your basement) but don't think you can because you've got little ones underfoot, hit me up - I'd be happy to watch your kids while you do some heavy lifting. I may not be able to haul sandbags or bail basements, but I've still got the Volunteer spirit! And by the looks of things, recovery is going to take every last one of us...


hezza said...

Penny's house, and everything in it...gone.

No Mommy Brain said...

oh no! so, so sad. what can i do to help?

cazz said...

i feel the same way about the coverage! i've been in germany and spain this whole time and you would think that the only thing that has happened in the states is the attempting bombing (which is important, sure). there was finally a little blurb about it on the bbc and it basically just showed some guy skiing behind a mini-van and getting arrested for it. i had no idea how bad it was until i got back to my friend's house in germany and was able to really peruse the internet and see everyone's pictures. so awful!