Sunday, May 2, 2010

Rain King

(*pictures courtesy of FaceBook friends...I didn't go driving through town)
How about a Cherry Limeaid? Not so fast...

This is a street that Sean and I frequently use to get to work.

Here's the flower shop that Bonnie used to work for. Guess the roses are getting plenty of water right now...

Here's a car dealership about 1 mile from our house.

We knew there was a severe weather threat for Middle Tennessee over the weekend. My mom, sister and I were headed to Macon, GA for a friend's wedding, and our biggest concern was that the Derby parties would be rained out. Pretty silly, huh? There's always the threat of tornadoes, too. But who'd have thought that a near-Noah sized FLOOD would be coming?? Not us. The Nashville area hasn't seen this amount of rainfall since the 70's. It all came so quickly, and the Cumberland and Harpeth Rivers started bursting at the seams. Tornado sirens sounded throughout the night, and Sean and Murphy camped out in their "safe room" (our half bathroom downstairs.)

While the 3 of us girls were enjoying the wedding reception in Georgia, Sean texted me a picture of the TV...I-24 in Nashville was completely under water. Cars were stranded, people were being rescued by boat, and a floating classroom portable collided with a tractor trailer on live television. (I kind of wish I'd have been home to see that!) I've seen footage of flooding from other states, but never close to home. Never right in my back yard. This morning on the national weather channel they were saying "Franklin, Tennessee is under water." No one really cared about little 'ole Franklin until now.

Receiving all the text updates and pictures was similar to watching a story unfold on the news. It didn't become real until we started heading home today. First, we learned that only 3 roads were open in Franklin. We were so thankful that we made it home safely through all the rain and continuous flash flooding. Driving past all the standing water in town was kind of nuts. I've lived in Franklin for about 23 years and haven't seen it this bad. Sure, there were areas prone to flooding during a heavy rain, but nothing like neighborhoods being evacuated! During our 5 hour drive back to TN, we all received numerous updates from friends and family back at home. Some of them were saying, "You might not be able to get back! Just stay in Georgia!" But we kept driving, and the passable roads led right to my house. Mom had a difficult time getting from my house over to hers. Because of all the closures, a 10 minute drive ended up taking her almost 30 minutes. Her neighborhood has been watching the water rise into their yards for the past 24 hours. Her house remains dry, but the water is licking her front stoop. A kind neighbor rang their doorbell at 2 a.m. and told my step-dad Jimmy to move their cars to higher ground. Some of the other neighbors were not so lucky as many families had their cars completely flooded.

My uncle's family in West Nashville (Bellevue) was forced out of their home today. The water filled their basement swallowing the washer/dryer, cars, motorcycles, tools, speakers and anything else you keep in a garage. They were also without power, so they headed to higher ground (a.k.a. his in-law's house). It was risky, but with a 5 year old on his shoulders they decided to WADE their way through the rushing waters for several blocks until they reached the in-laws. Later that day, many families in his area were evacuated and taken out by boats. I'm so glad he and his family made it safely!

Check out the basement at our house in Nashville. There should be about 3 or 4 more steps that you can't see...

The flooding has caused a big giant mess for sure, but at least our homes weren't demolished by a tornado. Our tenants called to say that a big tree limb fell on the roof and now it's leaking into the house. Then later they called to report that the basement was completely full of water. Sean said it was at least 4 ft. deep. With me on the road, Sean kicked into full gear calling the insurance company and scheduling someone to check on the damage. He spent all evening using a pump to rid the basement of water. I'm thankful to have him! This is a major inconvenience to us, but we are safe...our family is safe...we still have our cars and other belongings that make our lives convenient. Sadly, some people have lost their lives because of this disaster. One elderly couple was trying to drive out of their flooded neighborhood and they got swept away by the water and drowned. It just breaks my heart...others may not have died, but they've got a house full of water and will spend the next several months trying to put things back together again. We have been blessed.
The farm that we bought our summer CSA crops from has been completely flooded. They lost all the crops, about 1200 chickens, and a $5000 fence that they just put up. I wish there was something I could do to help them. I really had my heart set on participating in their program this summer, and maybe many more years to come. I pray this devestation doesn't cause them to go completely under.

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