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Nashville is flooded – where are you, Matt Lauer?

A moment of divergence

I thought I would diverge from my normal green posts and tell you all a little about what’s going on here in Nashville.  It seems Twitter (#flood) is about the only place reporting the scope of the devastation here and frankly this is a disaster like nothing I’ve ever seen or experienced in my life time.

Heavy rains came. Then kept coming.

It began Saturday with heavy rains that were pretty normal for the spring season.   By Saturday evening it was reported that I-24 was under several feet of water with many cars caught in the flash flood.  Many secondary roads in Williamson County just to our south also became inpassable.  The rain let up some over night but heavy storms hit early Sunday morning preventing folks from evacuating in the western part of our county because of a tornado warning even though there were torrential downpours and water rising fast.  

Within a few hours of the second wave of storms, all the major interstates in and around Nashville and secondary roads were under water.  Hundreds who had no idea they lived anywhere near a creek or river were trapped in their homes and had to be rescued by boat.

Water bubbling out of our floor…

In the meantime, many of us in my neighborhood who had basements or lived in split levels had flash flooding in our downstairs simply from a saturated water table.  My husband and I had water coming through plumbing and literally bubbling out of our floor.  We estimate we vacuumed about 500 gallons of water in about 5 hours. The honest truth is we are lucky, most of our stuff is salvaged and our home is livable and repairable.

Ole Opry under water

Overnight as the flash flooding began to recede, the Cumberland River, a river that snakes throughout Middle TN including Nashville’s downtown and many historic neighborhoods, began to rise.  Yesterday, we watched in horror as the river enveloped 3 blocks of our downtown, seeped in to our Symphony Hall, overtook our hockey arena and football stadium.  A 100 year levy failed on the east side of town over taking the Opryland Hotel lobby, mall and Opry Theater.

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Taken about two blocks from my home at 6pm last night

The water keeps spreading

Water spread from the banks in to my neighborhood throughout the day. More and more homes were quietly enveloped in the brown murky now contaminated water as we watched with frustration at our lack of ability to do anything.  I watched a woman walk away from her home in tears as the water began sliding through her front door and I fell asleep to helicopters buzzing over head and police driving through our streets determining where the water might go next. I estimate the I live about 1.5 to 2 miles from the river just to give you the scope of the how far I think it’s breached on our side.

My question is where are you national media?

I am appalled that someone almost bombed Times Square and devastated that the oil may reach land in Louisiana.  However, Nashville and surrounding counties are suffering through an unimaginable calamity right now and my neighborhood situation is one of hundreds.  Many lives have been lost, thousands have lost their homes, one of our water treatment plants is under water and the only other is threatened by flood waters.   Almost no one has flood insurance, we weren’t any where near flood zones.

My best guess is that some of the lack of coverage is that we are a community and we are getting it done.  Over 1,000 water rescues happened in 24 hours. Many of city services remain up.  I’ve watched neighbors rush over and help pull belongings out of homes taking on water.  I watched a man with a kayak meticulously paddle from street to street and release pets trapped in flooded yards and bring them to safety.  Strangers have waded in to the filthy water to carry out the sickly and people in dry homes have offered refuge to their neighbors.

Some have lost EVERYTHING

There is no doubt in my mind that the road to recovery will be long and costly but that we are a unique community poised to emerge stronger and more vibrant. On the other hand, there are folks here, many many who have lost everything and they won’t have insurance to help them get back on your feet.  

Please help if you can

The Middle Tennessee Chapters of the American Red Cross is accepting donations for disaster relief and any help you call can give to our community would be greatly appreciated.   Keep Nashville in your thoughts, we may not be getting much air time but we really are under water.

To see more stunning photos and video of Nashville floods, click here.

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Written By

Anna Altic – Village Real Estate Services. I’ve called Nashville home for the last 15 years and have been practicing (practice being the key word here) real estate for just over 6 years. In the fall of 2007, I went to a local German Festival that had a home tour, including a LEED certified property, and I instantly became enamored with the idea of eco friendly living (ok, so I’d had a little beer and the dual flush toilet rocked my world). I have since devoted much of my time and energies in to studying and espousing the benefits of better building technology within our local residential market and my proudest accomplishment thus far has been successfully leading the initiative to get over 25 green features added to our MLS search fields.



  1. Benn Rosales

    May 4, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    #flood #local #coverage #Nashville – We’re so sorry you and your neighbors are going through this, our hearts, and prayers go out to you and everyone impacted by this, I know others are worse off than you personally.

    I don’t know where the national media are, but the fact that you took time to write this article is a testament to strength and faith. We’ll send what we can to the red cross, and I know others will as well.

  2. Joe Loomer

    May 5, 2010 at 6:49 am

    Anna – Nashville is in my families prayers. My brother-in-law in Millington (north of Memphis) lost everything – house, car, everything. Not a peep from anyone nationally – as a matter of fact, more attention paid to dead fish and birds than those who perished in the flooding. The headquarters for all of the Navy’s Reserve units, personnel administration, and manpower management has been closed for four days and not a blip on the radar of the national press. Sailors and their families losing all their personal effects due to the evacuation (and subsequent flooding) of Naval Station Millington is just not important enough.

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

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