Last weekend, powerful thunderstorms drenched Tennessee almost 20 inches of rain on the region in two days. Creeks, lakes and rivers swelled with the rainwater, overflowing their banks, washing away roads, and causing the deaths of at least 24 people so far. 

Most of the damage occured in Middle Tennessee. 

Figure 2: Climatic Divisions 

I wanted to share just some of the stories of the flooding. . . on Thurday, our friend Bobby went to lend a hand cleaning up in Bellevue, one of the hardest-hit neighborhoods in west Nashville where some of his friends live. Entire neighborhoods were flooded, and all the houses were totaled. The water had receded, but the waterline still shows on the drywall. In some places, it was 8 feet deep. 

Bobby told of about his friend, Betty. She and her husband of 1 week, live about 60 yards from the Harpeth River. On Sunday afternoon, they looked out their window and the water was just over the bank of the river, in a field, across from their home. Within 15 minutes, the water was at their door. They only had time to grab a ladder from the garage, grab their dogs and climb to the roof of their home. In the panic of the rising water, their lost one of they beloved pets, swept away in the flood waters. They still hope to find the dog. 

The waters were over 4′ deep in their home and they lost everything.  This is their deck, in a neighbor’s yard, several houses away.
 

 

Bobby told us about the heart-warming stories he witnessed while helping with the clean-up. People from everywhere were came by to lend a hand. Someone would drive up, drop off water to thel helpers. Someone else drive-up and help with the clean-up.  Local resturants were cooking for the clean-up crews.  

Here is a small video that shows just a bit of the clean-up. 

While Nashville is getting most of the news coverage, the devastration is wide-spread. On Saturday, about 8 of us traveled to Centerville, Tennessee, about an hour from our home in Columbia to help with some of the cleanup.  

Centerville and the surrounding area was hard-hit by the storm. The river was so high and covered so many roads that the city was cut-off for several days. No electricity, no phones, no water from Saturday until the Thursday or Friday for most of the people in the area. 

We went to the Twomey church of Christ to help with clean-up.  They had about a foot of water in their building and everything needed to be removed.  The building was demolished, right down to the studs. 

It is dirty, smelly and back-breaking work. . . not to mention, heart-breaking. 

 

  

As we helped, you could see the weariness on the faces of the members of the church. 

 

  

  

Later in the afternoon, we moved to an area that not only had flood damage, but tornado damage. As we drove through the area, we could not believe the destruction.

 

  

 

 

We talked to the owner of this house. They had 5 minutes warning before the tornado hit. They were okay, but as you can see, their place is a mess, with damage to their house and trees down. It took 11 men with chain saws an entire day, just to cut up the trees, so the driveway could be cleared.

The rain not only flooded the area, it also washed out roads. This is  Highway 7 between Columbia and Centerville.

 

 

So much damage, much more than anyone can comprend. In so many cases, people do not have flood insurance and they have lost everything.

Much help is needed. .  . if you live in Middle Tennessee, please consider lending a hand in the clean-up. If you live outside of Tennessee, please consider helping in other ways:

Ways to help:

  • Text ’REDCROSS’ to 90999 to donate $10 to disaster relief — or visit redcross.org to donate. 
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  • Check out the Nashvillest blog, with a section called “So Nashville Is Flooded…How Can I Help?” 
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  • Hands on Nashville has a number of volunteer efforts going on in Nashville and Williamson County.  Please visit their website for more information.
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  • The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee is working directly with Mayor Dean and Governor Bredesen on city and state emergency response efforts. 
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  • If you’re in or near Nashville, The American Red Cross is operating a number of shelters around the area and will be in need of volunteers this weekend to help distribute items.  More information here.
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