After the Storm

Some of you probably know that Nashville just endured a record rainfall–a 500 year flood, by some accounts. In 48 hours, we got nearly 14 inches of rain–25% of our annual rainfall.

Poor Dottie & Greg were here to experience it all. A weekend with them with no bike rides just didn’t seem right, but we did get some Scrabble in at E & S’s house on Sunday, where we sought refuge from my power-less condo.

Dottie won.

Obviously, we were extremely lucky to have only a 12-hour power outage and rained out bike rides to complain about. Between games, we watched the rain and worried over news reports showing images like this one (from the Nashville Flood 2010 Flickr pool.)

I didn’t know what our airport run on Monday morning would be like, but it was eerily calm and clear. Only the hint of fog over the ground, and the wet streets, recalled what had happened over the weekend.

Though there were other signs, if you paid attention, like uprooted trees.

And the flood-damaged items your neighbors put on the curb for Metro to pick up.

I can’t decide if these three last, sunny days are Mother Nature’s apology or just further proof of her fickleness. The river crested on Monday; the waters are receding. But power is still out downtown, and many people lost their (non flood-insured) homes–from suburban Bellevue families to stars like Kenny Chesney (though he at least has more than one home). We are rationing water, since we only have one functioning water treatment plant (we would have had zero, if it weren’t for some heroic efforts by state prison inmates). We may soon be rationing beer since local distributors are underwater. Total damage to the city is estimated at $1.1 BILLION. Damage to the Opryland Hotel and the Grand Ole Opry, along with some of downtown’s most beloved landmarks is going to be devastating for the local economy. Tennessee has only a sales tax, no state income tax, so tourist dollars are especially important.

Left: our new symphony center. Right: the Country Music Hall of Fame, taken May 4.

Sorry for the long, non-bikey post, but with the Gulf spill and the NYC attempted bombing, the Weather Channel seems to have done most of the national coverage of this disaster. Local blogs, TV stations and Twitter feeds have been incredible, and I wanted to do my part. If you want to help, you can text ‘REDCROSS’ to 90999 to donate $10 to disaster relief in Nashville. If you live in town, consider signing up with Hands on Nashville and volunteering to help with cleanup efforts — there will be plenty to do all summer long. (And if you see me on one of the projects, say hi!)

Thanks to all of you who checked in on me in the comments or on Twitter; your concern is appreciated!

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12 thoughts on “After the Storm

  1. eva says:

    I’m happy to hear that you are OK. It’s nice to hear a real account of the flooding – as the news can be a bit much to digest. I hope life returns back to normal quickly

  2. sara says:

    I was thinking about you, Trisha, so I am happy to hear this update.

  3. Trisha says:

    Thanks to you both! Eva, the weird thing is that except for the water conservation, life has been pretty normal for me since Monday — it feels wrong when I know what things are like for other people in town.

  4. Dave says:

    Well, rationing water is one thing, but when you start rationing the beer, that’s serious! :)

    Seriously, I hope the city and its residents are able to get things repaired soon. I can’t imagine what it would be like to lose so many things (both personal and public) in such an unexpected event.

    Here’s hoping the rebuilding efforts will help to build/strengthen some community in the city, at least maybe *something* productive could come from it.

    Cheers!

  5. Catherine says:

    I was thinking about you–glad you’re doing alright. Floods don’t seem nearly as enjoyable as blizzards–our natural disaster of the decade–(as I will remind all of my blizzard phobic friends and neighbors).

  6. David says:

    Is anyone having problems with the homepage? Please look at http://www.letsgorideabike.com. Clean your cache first. I’m getting all red x’s in for images. Even the banner is missing at the top of this page. It’s on diffent computers, so I know it aint just me.

  7. Academichic says:

    Wow, Trisha, this is crazy! My heart goes out to everyone there and I’m glad that you’re ok!

    S

  8. E A says:

    Trisha, thanks for the report… it’s hard to keep up with all that’s going on that needs our attention. Hope you dry out soon.

  9. Cherilyn says:

    Hang in there! So glad you had good company during the storm.

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