Tag Archives: nashville flood

Nashville Flood – 1 year later

May 1, 2011.

One year ago today, it started raining. I remember trying to complete a Saturday motorcycle certification class. After hours of waiting for lightning to stop so we could head out on the bikes, our instructor gave up. He said we would have to wait for a break in the weather the next day. While the rain had only started, a couple of classmates had already gotten into accidents, being unable to pass roads. We doubted his excitement about holding a longer Sunday class to finish our training.

It was a slow road home, and the rain became stronger. Intersections were unpassable. Stores were closing. Evening brought tales of people trapped on rooftops. Hospitals trying to move patients to higher floors. Sandbagging, but no one quite knew how to get to the affected areas to be able to help.

And Sunday. May 2nd. It kept raining. Photos of a building floating down the freeway filled the local news. The story is completely dormant on the national news. Power is out. Friends wait to see if their houses will be next in line to be filled with gushing water. Many are without power. Everyone is helpless to bring aid as nearly all roads are impassable. So we wait. And late in the afternoon, the rain quietly stops and the sun appears. The birds sing. Quietly people emerge from their houses and in my neighborhood. We are on high ground so other than a tree down here and a consistent statement of nearly everyone with flooded basements, very little was harmed.

The rest of the city I love didn’t fare so well. Stories pouring in of loved ones who lost everything. Downtown buildings with millions of dollars of damage. Neighborhoods lost. The Grand Old Opry closed indefinitely.

But what I saw emerge was a community that loves. A Volunteer State that does exactly that. Nashville as a whole put on it’s work gloves and helped each other rebuild. Without question, people opened their hearts and wallets, caravanned to the distraught neighborhoods and went to work. Tirelessly. Water was conserved. Benefits were held. A battle cry of We Are Nashville was coined and together our city quietly did the work needed to rebuild lives.

And now a year later we reflect and still wonder when some of our friend’s homes will be completely restored. When our Opry Mills mall will be re-opened.

Last week, tornadoes tore through Alabama just a few hours south of us. And I think Nashville just understands. Without delay, groups are gathering together to help. Raising money. Holding Benefits. Filling trucks with water and supplies and caravanning down the road, ready to tirelessly communities that have lost their hope.

And while I’m horrified at the images emerging from my neighbors to the south, I am so proud to say that I live in a city that continues to uphold it’s tradition of answering the call when so many need help.

May it not require disaster for us to continue see the needs of those around us.


Water is life

So with Nashville still in flood recovery, this also means that our water supply is still a bit volatile, and our conservation efforts are still in full gear.

I already wrote one blog about water, but it’s been on my mind quite a bit, as my hair isn’t quite up to it’s shiny and bouncy normal self.  Last week, I went home to my parents for the weekend – and thoroughly enjoyed not taking the requested Navy showers that were stated as necessary to keep our water supply in check.

I believe the water supply is at about 85% now, and our efforts have paid off.  We’re not out of the woods yet they say, and they are asking that we keep up the conservation concept until the end of the month.  That means no car washes, no watering the lawn, no long showers.  The rule “if it’s yellow keep it mellow” might be more of a rally cry than anyone would like to admit.

But I’m thinking this might be something we should keep in mind for more than just a month.

I waste too much water.  Before the flood, I didn’t turn off the water when I brushed my teeth.  I had the tap on full when I was waiting for the water to warm up to wash my face, to do the dishes.  I would boil way more water than needed to make my french press of coffee each day.

Water is essential to Life.  And Life is precious.

To turn off the water when I brush my teeth is a very small, very simple change. Yet over time can amount to a huge amount of clean water being conserved.    I  hope that the month of May is long enough for these to become habits, not because the city is telling me to, but because I believe that everyone deserves clean water.  Each life is precious, and each drop of water should be too.

ways to help

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” ― Theodore Roosevelt

Lots of people have been asking for ways to help with the relief effort after our giant flood here in Nashville  As of yesterday, the estimated damage from the flood was at 1.56 Billion dollars, so we’ve got a lot of work that needs to be done here.  There are many for people locally, and across the world to help.  The funds raised from just buying a simple t-shirt can go a long way. If you have things for me to add, let me know and I’ll put them on the list…

Ideas on how to help:

We need you to buy our stuff:

Buy a shirt! – http://nashvilleflood.myshopify.com/collections/all

Buy a sticker! (I love this design) – http://tennesseelovesyou.bigcartel.com/product/love-sticker

The We Are Nashville shirt – http://store.coolpeoplecare.org/products/we-are-nashville-t-shirt

Buy a poster! – http://www.justkyle.com/

Another great poster – can’t keep a good town down – http://ht.ly/1JLvo

Design a poster or shirt and sell it to raise money!  https://app.e2ma.net/app/view:CampaignPublic/id:536.8253085633/rid:0209e40a1410481eaaf9f5447b49cb67

A bracelet! – http://www.all4nashville.com/

We need your cash:

Service International – http://serviceinternational.com/nashville/ – these are flood relief specialists…started by my cousins. You can donate your money and your time here…and if anyone needs help, they can let the organization know

Church of the Redeemer – send checks with “flood relief” in the memo to: 920 Caldwell Lane, Nashville, TN, 37204

Conduit – http://conduitmission.org/

Crosspoint – https://secure3.agroup.com/crosspoint/giving/?action=one_time_form&campus=Nashville

United Way – http://www.unitedwaynashville.org/

We need your stuff:

Anchor Fellowship – collecting items for 5.15 clothing drive for flood victims. Donate anytime before 5/15 at: 521 Gallatin Rd Suite 6, Nashvile, TN 37206 or at their church – 629 3rd Ave S, Nashville, TN 37210

Kroger and Publix – have bins for food donations for Second Harvest Food Bank

Woodmont Christian Church – Accepting donations of food

Nest Interiors – Accepting donations of furniture

Mellow Mushroom Franklin – collecting canned foods

Atlanta area – donate supplies until May 12 here – http://beremedy.org/nashvilleflood

We need your self:
Hands on Nashville – hon.org

Anchor Fellowship – theanchorfellowship.com

Service International – http://serviceinternational.com/nashville/

Cross Point – crosspoint.tv

Conduit Mission – conduitmission.org

We need you to enjoy life:
May 17 – Eat. This is a great excuse to go out and get some much needed nourishment after volunteering. http://www.nashvillescene.com/bites/archives/2010/05/07/food-community-rows-forward-together

May 15 – David Space and Friends benefit at Improv LA – http://www.symfonee.com/improv/hollywood/home/Index.aspx

June 22 – Faith Hill and Tim McGraw benefit concert – http://www.nashvillerising.org/

Nashville Flood, part 2

There’s been a lot of murmuring around Nashville, complaints that the national media had forgotten about us. Maybe they thought the flood was exaggerated. Maybe they just had other things to think about. Maybe they just think all there is to Tennessee is the Grand Old Opry … and Deliverance.

What maybe they don’t know is that Tennessee isn’t really prone to exaggeration. We aren’t a region that overly boasts. But we are the home to some of the best music, the best hospitals, the best food, and the best landscape our country can offer. We love slow food, slow evenings of wine and conversation, and a fast game of hockey or football. Our economy isn’t bad, we don’t pay income tax and everyone is generally in a good mood, most of the time.

So I was thinking…what’s different? Why aren’t we getting the media attention like other cities have?

And I realized it.

We love. We work. We clean up. We rebuild.

We aren’t looting.

We aren’t taking advantage.

We aren’t throwing rocks at police.

We are helping our neighbors, because that’s what neighbors do. We’re hearing stories of hope, of restoration, of mercy.

And if it requires our city to take on an uncivilized, selfish face to get the media’s attention, then forget it.

There is a sign on a church in East Nashville that says something like “God wasn’t in the tornado, God is in the response”, in reference to the tornado that tore through our neighborhood in 1998.  This isn’t any different.

And after our neighbors are back in their homes, the music is back at the Opry and the Symphony Center and the Titans are back running on their field, we will know that our city is a stronger, safer more beautiful place, simply because the people love, and love well.