National news seems not to have noticed Nashville and Tennessee’s flood. My school neighborhood received over 16 inches of rain this weekend in Antioch. Buildings floated down the interstate and ran into trucks. People died. Rivers rose. Homes were flooded. Schools, libraries, and businesses are closed. And volunteers showed up.
Tennessee is the Volunteer State. Organizations like Hands on Nashville are coordinating work efforts. The local responders have been amazing and tireless. The calls for help have gone out on facebook, on emails, through the mainstream media, and through phone networks. We’ve had to balance helping and staying out of officials’ way.
The city is down to just one water processing plant which has been threatened today so officials have asked residents to use half their normal water. Cooking and drinking only. No baths. No cleaning.
We hope the river has finally crested in Nashville and Clarksville, but the Corps are balancing the release of water from dams. Everyone seems to be holding their breath as we wait to see what will remain after the waters recede. Photos are flooding in and stories are rife on the facebook site I Survived the Great Nashville Monsoon of May 1st.
For those of you who have visited the Opryland Hotel, you’ll recognize the Delta has now become a true island. The football stadium is filled with water. Fifty school buildings in Nashville alone have sustained some damage. Busses floated away. Cars were piled on top of each other.
As flood water across the state recedes, schools will eventually reopen and we teachers will be there to help students share their stories of the tragedies they have experienced. While we cannot yet gather in person, students have been contacting us on facebook and email for reassurance. Several sent worried messages because we cannot have a book fair Family Event Ice Cream Social tomorrow. I’m glad they can worry about little things with the big problems we face rebuilding. In the meantime, the public library has some helpful links. I worry about the state of those libraries. Anyone have word?