Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The 1000 Year Flood

It's safe to say that's one title I never thought I would write.

The Saturday before last Danny took Grant to Opry Mills for some Glow Golf and arcade games. I decided I'd let them have a father/son day by themselves. I took Drew with me to run some errands. Rain and thunderstorms were forcasted all weekend so we were desperate to get out of the house for at least part of the weekend.

Drew spiked a fever as I kept an eye on the news watching out for tornado warnings. Luckily, Drew took a good nap, and the tornado warnings never came. It just rained and rained and rained.

It stopped raining Saturday night. And we had a peaceful night until Drew woke us up at 3:30am crying. After a little ibuprofen and a drink of milk he went back to bed easily only to wake up screaming at 4:15. This time he was unconsolable requiring a little help from Daddy and a breath of fresh air from outside. He reluctantly put himself back to sleep around 5:30am. It began raining again soon after that.

And raining. And raining. Sometimes it was simply a steady rain. At other times it was a torrential downpour. By Sunday night it would rain 13 inches in two days and would break the all time rainfall record for May. It was only May 2nd.

Danny spent most of the day Sunday helping his Dad shop vac the water out of his basement at a speed of 12 gallons per 1.5 minutes. I spent the day consoling Drew and gawking at the images of rising water on the news and postings from friends and family via facebook and email.

At 8pm Gaylord Opryland officials ordered the evacuation of the Opryland hotel. I remember thinking, really? They think the river is going to go into the hotel? Just 6 hours later hotel, indeed, would be filling with water.

Opryland, Pennington Bend, Downtown 1st Avenue, and Bellvue suffered the most with thousands of homes and businesses under water. Danny's 85 year old grandmother, has lived on Pennington Bend for about 50 years I guess. After numerous requests from her children to leave and stay the night with one of them, she declined. In her own words, "I don't have anywhere I need to be until Tomorrow." The water stopped just shy of her house and she later declared, "See. I told you it wasn't going to get my house."

Our home was blessed to hardly be affected at all by the water.  It caused a massive bubble in our sod which Danny took care of with a shovel and Grant's T-ball games have been cancelled due to the extensive damage to the fields.  I managed to get Drew to the pediatrician on Monday with no trouble. His ears checked out fine, and his doctor thought he might have had a mild case of hand, foot and mouth disease.

The flood pictures on Monday as the river crested were truly surreal. It was the kind of stuff you only see on TV. Except they didn't really show it on TV. The national news that is. Apparently, they gave us a few minutes here and there, but there wasn't enough looting keep anybody's attention. But it's amazing to see what has already been done on the road to recovery for Nashville all largely done by the help of neighbors and volunteers.

I guess they don't call us the Volunteer State for nothing. There's a long road ahead, but obviously, Nashville will be fine and better than ever.  National coverage or not.

1 comment:

  1. Well written, Lesley. I still can't get over the images, either. I'm so thankful that the friends and family we left behind are ok, and heartbroken for those that didn't fare so well. Y'all must have been so worried about Danny's grandmother. I love that she was all, "I told you so!" I hate that this happened, but I'm so proud of the way the people of Nashville have handled it. I'm already thinking about how we can get down this summer and do some volunteer work. It's going to be a long, hard road and people need to remember that and continue to help in whatever way they can.