Dover Anthony sings on as he overlooks the parking lot of submerged cars at the Knights Motel in East Nashville, Sunday, May 2, 2010. (AP Photo/The Tennessean, John Partipilo)
Compiled by Brian M. Howle from AP Reports
Muddy waters have poured over the banks of Nashville’s swollen Cumberland River, spilling into Music City’s historic downtown streets. The flash floods caused by record-breaking rain caught many here off-guard, forcing thousands to frantically flee their homes and hotels. The rapidly rising waters killed 18 people in Tennessee alone, including 10 in Nashville, and officials feared that the death toll could increase.
The ongoing Gulf Coast oil spill and the attempted Times Square bombing have caused many to overlook the impact of flooding on Tennessee, especially in Nashville. Parts of top Nashville tourist spots including the Country Music Hall of Fame and The Grand Ole Opry House were flooded.
There have been recent media reports making the air, with country music stars reaching out to share their personal stories of property loss (like Keith Urban) with the hundreds of thousands who not only have lost all of their personal belongings, furniture, clothes and homes, but now face rebuilding their lives without the benefit of flood insurance, as the likelihood of flooding was not seen as a high probability. The freak storm has now brought that sobering reality to many, many responsible, hard-working folks who just got caught at the worst time in the worst way.
The Cumberland flooded quickly after the weekend’s storms dumped more than 13 inches of rain in Nashville over two days. That nearly doubled the previous record of 6.68 inches of rain that fell in the wake of Hurricane Fredrick in 1979.
National Weather Service meteorologist Mark Rose said the river crested at 51.9 feet at 6 p.m. CDT Monday night (May 3).
For residents of the Grand Strand, the memories of what we have to contend with after hurricanes (like Hugo) should trigger strong empathy to help immediately.
The Nashville Area Red Cross is in need of financial support to continue providing relief to victims of local disaster flooding. The American Red Cross is not a government agency. All disaster assistance is free, and is funded solely by local donations. There are several ways to give:
• Visit http://www.nashvilleredcross.org and click DONATE NOW to make an online gift;
• Mail a check to the Nashville Area Red Cross;
2201 Charlotte Avenue, Nashville, TN 37203;
• Call (615) 250-4300 to make a donation by phone;
• Text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation on your mobile phone.
The photos and videos of the aftermath might not have the emotional punch that those of post-Katrina or post-tsunami images unleashed on us all, but we must all come to the aid of our fellow citizens and help them in their time of need.
This article also appeared in Alternatives NewsMagazine, May 7-20, 2010.