A natural disaster, in the form of a 500 year flood, occurred last weekend in Nashville/Davidson County and the surrounding counties of Benton, Carroll, Cheatham, Crockett, Decatur, Dickson, Dyer, Fayette, Gibson, Hardeman, Haywood, Henderson, Hickman, Houston, Humphreys, Madison, Maury, McNairy, Montgomery, Obion, Perry, Rutherford, Shelby, Sumner, Tipton and Williamson Tennessee. Perhaps the costliest non-hurricane disaster in the US, national news coverage has given little attention to this event. At this time, it is known that 29 people have died, and thousands of homes and businesses are underwater. Nashville’s tourism industry has been severely crippled as Grand Ole Opry Hotel is 10 feet underwater along with nearby Opry Mills Mall. The touristy honky-tonks and restaurants on Broadway, the Schermerhorm Symphony Center, the Tennessee Titans’ field, and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum are all flood damaged. This article sums the spirit of cooperation and charity demonstrated by the Tennessee citizens. Tennessee is nicknamed the “Volunteer State”, and it truly is, in word and in deed.
After a dry April, we all looked forward to the weekend rainstorm. No one expected the storm to stall out over Middle Tennessee, and it’s citizens had no advance warning. On Saturday, we awoke to dark clouds, which released heavy torrents of rain. Waterways swiftly rose and poured over their banks. In areas where there was not a waterway, the soil became saturated with water; resulting in runoff settling in low lying areas forming new rivers. Rain continued overnight with the threat of tornadoes and into Sunday. All Church services were cancelled. Citizens were ordered to stay at home unless evacuated.