As I mentioned, we are so thankful that our house was spared. We live on a hill. Our dear friends and neighbors down the street and around the corner had to watch their house get swallowed by the Cumberland River. These are the same friends that were just trying to decide on a color to paint their house. The friends that stayed with us for months while they were renovating their home from gutted to a liveable beautiful home. It was almost finished. All their hard work for nothing. Our hearts are breaking for them. Much of their belongings will likely be a total loss. Here’s the house before:
Sunday afternoon Leila called and asked if Jason could come down and help her move the cars. I could tell by her tone of voice that we both needed to go and it was urgent. Jason moved a pick up truck out of their driveway minutes after we got there. From their house all the way back to the tree line was water. It was the strangest thing to see. The water was already almost a foot deep in their driveway. Their garage was getting flooded quickly. We had a small window of time (and shallow enough water) to get her scooter and Leila’s brother’s scooter out of the garage and around through the side yard up to the road. It was too late for her husband’s car. (He was out of the country for work.) We cut off the circuit breaker and started stacking power tools up on tables in their garage-level bonus room, rescued her already wet wedding dress and waited around a bit to see how high the water was going to come. Their house was up several feet from the yard and garage level and we hoped the water would stop as the rain was stopping.
At one point I decided to mark a spot on their patio and time how fast the water was approaching the house. About a foot a minute. Before long we realized it was going to come in the house. We stacked up everything we could onto tables and countertops. Leila grabbed a basket of her clothes, shoes, her iMac (thank God we got the Mac!), photos, toiletries, etc. Once the water started to come through the crawlspace into the front yard and around the sides of the house, we figured we didn’t have much time before the front yard would start to fill up also.
When we left in the evening the water was not quite to foundation level. Sunday night at 11pm when Jason and I drove past to check the water was starting to overtake the street and was at least 6″ above their foundation level. Monday morning, less than 12 hours later, the water was about 4′ over their foundation level. It was bizarre and horrific and sad. We are thankful that everyone is OK. All of that is just stuff and can be replaced. It’s all very traumatic and still very fresh as I write this Tuesday afternoon. I hope I’m communicating clearly! Pictures will probably explain better than words anyway:
When we got there on Sunday afternoon
Still in unbelief and wondering if it’s going to stop before it reaches the foundation level
Leila, her sister-in-law Kala and brother Nate taking the last few things out of the house before we gave up
Leila and Kala were able to laugh at the absurdity of wading through the front yard with L’s wedding dress and faulty umbrella
A few more as we drove away Sunday afternoon, taken with my digital camera (others are my phone):
Monday was sunny and beautiful weather.
This is as close as we could get. That’s their house on the right.
Neighbor across the street
This water was flowing with the flow of the Cumberland River which is about 1/2 a mile from their house, straight back from the tree line.