Nashville Flood – May 2010 – pt 2


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.


Nashville Flood – May 2010


As I’m sure you know, Nashville has been dealing with horrific flooding. Over the course of the weekend May 1-2 we had steady rain. I didn’t seem that strange to me to have rain and thunderstorms for 2 days but the amount was 2x the previous record for rainfall over 2 days. That’s a lot of water with no place to go.

Nashville is surrounded by rivers, particularly the Cumberland which snakes all around downtown. The river level rose approx 52′ above it’s normal level resulting in pockets of flooded neighborhoods all around Nashville and surrounding TN areas, especially anywhere near the rivers including historic downtown, the Titans stadium LP Field, the country music hall of fame, and many other downtown landmarks. In addition, Opryland Hotel and the Grand Ole Opry – Nashville landmarks – and the surrounding areas have been flooded to 10′ or more.

And homes. Many many homes. Most of which do not have flood insurance because this just doesn’t happen in Nashville. This is crazy. It’s so hilly around here that any given street – such as the one I live on – may have serious flooding at one end and none at the other end. Our house was not affected, thank God, but many of our friends and neighbors had devastating flooding. I’ve heard that damage estimates are in the $10 Million range and there have already been 28 deaths reported here and in other affected areas.

More tomorrow. (These photos are not mine. Click the • for source.)