Today is Day 4 of the Nashville Flood. They are calling this a “1,000 Year Flood.” We are not much better than when I last posted on Sunday and in some cases, we are worse. It finally stopped raining Sunday night, but the flood waters and rivers continued to rise. And in some cases the water was oddly bubbling out of the ground, threatening to flood buildings from the bottom up!
Landmarks: Our city relies heavily on tourists, but many of our “crown jewels” are in danger. Some of our threatened/submerged sites: Country Music Hall of Fame, Grand Ole Opry, LP Field (where the NFL team the Tennessee Titans plays), Bridgestone Arena (where I just saw our NHL Nashville Predators play in Stanley Cup playoffs last week), Schermerhorn Symphony Center (where our Grammy award winning Nashville Symphony plays), Historic 2nd Avenue, Gaylord Opryland Hotel, Opry Mills Mall (site of the former Opryland theme park), Bicentennial Mall and the Nashville Farmer’s Market, the Ghost Ballet statue (though I never loved that thing, it’s become a part of downtown and now it’s fallen into the river), and the list continues to grow!
Flooding: We think the rivers have finally crested. (fyi, “cresting” means the highest point the water is going to reach before receding, not the highest it has ever been or the water’s act of rising) But now at least one levee is leaking and threatening to break. Some amazing volunteers went down to the site last night and helped build a sandbag wall. Although at least one correctional facility had to be evacuated, the inmates still helped fill the sandbags and volunteers built the wall, well after nightfall last night.
Loss of Life and Rescues: We have had at least 10 deaths in the county and 14 statewide so far, and counting as the waters recede and they are able to get to some of the homes and cars submerged in the hardest hit neighborhoods. Many shelters are at capacity and running low on supplies.
Water Supply: Our water supply is still threatened. The city had to shut down one of our two water treatment plants due to flooding, so we are operating at half capacity. The inmates were also sandbagging yesterday to help keep the waters from threatening the last plant, and apparently the water stopped rising within a foot of reaching the plant. A sewage treatment plant has been flooded and sewage has leaked into the river, but fortunately it’s very diluted from the rain. Our water is still safe to drink, but we have to conserve and use water only for drinking and food preparation. If we put too much strain on the remaining treatment plant, the psi (pounds per square inch) could drop and that is when we could experience leakage and contamination. So, for the meantime, I’m not showering (smell me yet over there?), washing clothes, or washing dishes, and using bottled water, turning off my ice maker, and only flushing when necessary.
Utilities and Public Services: Many locations have lost power and continue to lose power, either as a system becomes submerged or as the electric company has to shut off the power to a location threatened by rising waters. As you know, water and electricity do not mix. Others have lost their gas heat as well, which means cold showers (if you have enough water). Unfortunately with this mixture of water, electricity, and gas outages, we’ve had several fires, and even one home exploded in a nearby neighborhood once the gas was sparked. We are also starting to experience spottiness and outages in cell phones, telephone landlines, and internet, but hopefully that is only temporary and we won’t get completely cut off from the rest of the country. All bus and train services have been suspended indefinitely, hindering many who rely upon those to commute to work and other areas. Mail appears to still be running. We are running low on gasoline due to flooding in some fuel storage areas, but hopefully that will resolve soon. Public school systems are still closed, because some of the buildings have been affected. We’re right at the end of the school year and some kids were in the middle of national exams.
We will make it through this! We have finally started to get some national media attention and the President called the Governor and pledged aid to the city and surrounding area. But there is more you can do!
Hands On Nashville is coordinating the volunteer efforts
There are many more opportunities! Follow Nashvillest for all the latest information on the flooding and ways to help out our city, its people and animals, and our famous landmarks!