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223 The Flood 2010-05-02

morning storm

Saturday Morning Storm

Last Friday, as the weekend approached, rain was forecast for both Saturday and Sunday. I searched my internet weather sources to determine when a window of clear weather would be available for hiking. There were several possibilities. I was not worried; but I changed my plans and decided to walk the five-eight mile loop in Percy Warner Park, because with the predicted rain, the trails would be too muddy. (Walking on a muddy trail causes significant wear.)

Early Saturday morning the rain began. It rained hard. The possible dry periods of weather were soon filled with rain. It rained all day.

Reports began to be aired on the storm. The city of Nashville and middle Tennessee were receiving an epic rainfall. The largest single days rain total was recorded. A local creek flooded and closed Interstate 24. The cars stuck on a bridge on the Interstate were soon underwater. Oddly enough, a large building even floated down the creek next to the Interstate. It was crazy. It continued to rain.

Sunday morning, it was still raining. Our sump pump in the cellar was running continuously. We checked on the pump and then went to the yard to try and move the standing water away from the house. Two hours later, it was still raining hard; but we had won. We were able to unclog the drains and pipes. The water was moving freely into the street.

Others reisdents were not nearly as lucky as us. Anyone who lived near a creek or river was in trouble. Anyone traveling near a creek or river was delayed or even worse their vehicle was flooded. There were a lot of people in trouble. It still rained.

My mother-in-law called and said the whole bank across from her condominium had slid into her house. She needed help and we could not get to her - all the roads were closed. It continued to rain.

In the late afternoon I spoke with one of my wife's relatives, Julie. She lived close to Diane, my mother-in-law. Julie reported that the roads were passable with a few detours. We jumped into the car and headed to Diane’s.

The destruction along the way was crazy. Abandoned cars littered the roadways. Pavement was torn from the road in huge sheets. Stone fences were left as piles of rocks. All the creeks were big. The rain persisted.

When we arrived at Diane’s condo, we could not believe our eyes. The damage to the complex was unbelievable. Diane has been known to exaggerate in order to emphasize a point; but in this case the damage was worse than we expected. The whole bank, trees and all, had given way and slid down the hill, coming to rest in the middle of the road. The trees lay like pick-up sticks on the carports, garages, and dwellings. Trees wrapped Diane’s garage door around her car. It was really bad.

And it continued to rain...

The Harpeth River went way out of its banks. Interstate 40 closed. The Harpeth continued to rise. The devestation was immense and intense. Homes were being covered with water. Communities were enveloped in the rising waters. It was crazy.

When the rain finally stopped Nashville had a new one day rainfall total. The old record had lasted one day. And the problems continue as the streams and creeks continue to rise and flow into the rising rivers.

Soon the waters will recede and people will begin to put their lives back together; but it will be a long time before the May 2010 flood is forgotten. It just kept raining and soon I had forgotten about hiking, there were more important duties.

We wish a special blessing for all those in need.

Happy "more important duties than" trails.


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