I cried last night.
As some of you realize that stop here often, I live in Nashville, TN. This past weekend, my beloved home and city was DEVASTATED by flood waters. People lost their houses, cars, photos, beloved pets, and their lives.
On Saturday night, we watched the news, staring in disbelief at what unfolded in front of us. I-24 under water, a portable building floating along, ripping apart as it bumped into cars and semis. The Cumberland River spilling into neighborhoods, and people being evacuated. We went to bed uneasily and late that night, wondering what tomorrow would bring, not believing the images we had watched.
Sunday morning, and still the rain coming down, seeming never to end, with the intention to drown us all. We lost power, but we were so lucky that our neighborhood was not flooded. We lost some trees, minor wind damage, but nothing so catastrophic as many, many others. We spent the day without power, wondering what was happening. Not able to go far in our vehicle because of the rain and flooding at the end of our roads.
Did you happen to see The Dairy King on Thompson Lane by Mill Creek? That is only a few streets over from me. That is how lucky we were.
Sunday night, we went to a friends house after the rain stopped to take showers and eat warm food. We watched the weather channel, expecting to see news of this historical flood. Our local stations were on it. Nationally, no one seemed to notice. I did not really think anything about it. It had just happened, obviously, news reports would build on it soon.
20 reported deaths in Tennessee so far.
Our city's history has been drowned. The Grand Ole Opry is underwater. Opry Mills and the Opryland Hotel are basically destroyed and we have to be rebuilt. And we do not have flood insurance. Nashville hasn't flooded like this in centuries. We had record rainfall. Record meaning that the amount of rain that fell in one day during the flooding is more than ANY recorded value since they began recording rainfall.
And already we're rebuilding. The Opry has planned shows in other venues in town that weren't damaged. We have massive volunteer efforts going to people's houses, helping to clear out the ruined, pull out drywall, try to salvage what isn't gone. People bringing in water, as we have lost one of our water treatment plants.
And I assumed everyone knew. No.
We weren't on the news. The billions of dollars in devastation and lives lost. No, this is not the biggest tragedy ever. But it is a tragedy to us. It's different if you move in an area you expect to flood, around the oceans or gulfs. It was unexpected to here, and if you asked any weatherman or flood plane analyst, they would tell you it was virtually impossible. Some people were even denied flood insurance by insurance companies, because people do not need it in this land locked area. We need it now, but now it is too late.
I cried last night. Watching these families on the donation special, on Andersoon Cooper's show, as he came to Nashville. People spilling out their hearts, their loss, but most importantly, their hope. No one may have taken notice of us, and come running to help as in other disasters. But we did what we do. We pulled together as a city and a community, and we began to rebuild ourselves. Donations, volunteers, any little bit helps.
And so I cried. I cried for my home, and what mother nature has done to her. I cried for my fellow citizens of Nashville, and the pain they have to endure. I cried for those who lost their lives, swept away by a flood we never knew was coming.
The Country Music Hall of Fame re-opens on Saturday. Downtown has been cleared. Visit us. Come and see. We are devastated, but we are rising.