Theodore's World: Nashville Flood Is Biggest Disaster to Hit Middle Tennessee Since Civil War

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May 08, 2010

Nashville Flood Is Biggest Disaster to Hit Middle Tennessee Since Civil War

Flood waters cover parts of Downtown of Nashville, Tennessee after Cumberland River overflowed its bank from record rain fall May 4, 2010. Severe storms and flash floods left more than a dozen people dead in Tennessee and Kentucky over the weekend as rising river waters closed portions of interstate highways leading in and out of Nashville. (REUTERS/M. J. Masotti Jr.)

Jim sent me is from Patten Fuqua is a hockey blogger in Nashville.

What I am about to write has absolutely nothing to do with hockey.
If you live outside of Nashville, you may not be aware, but our city was hit by a 500-year flood over the last few days. The national news coverage gave us 15 minutes, but went back to focusing on a failed car bomb and an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. While both are clearly important stories, was that any reason to ignore our story? It may not be as terror-sexy as a failed car bomb or as eco-sexy as an oil spill, but that’s no reason to be ignored.
The Cumberland River crested at its highest level in over 80 years. Nashville had its highest rainfall totals since records began. People drowned. Billions of dollars in damage occurred. It is the single largest disaster to hit Middle Tennessee since the Civil War. And yet…no one knows about it.
Does it really matter? Eventually, it will…as I mentioned, there are billions of dollars in damage. It seems bizarre that no one seems to be aware that we just experienced what is quite possibly the costliest non-hurricane disaster in American history. The funds to rebuild will have to come from somewhere, which is why people need to know. It’s hard to believe that we will receive much relief if there isn’t a perception that we need it.
But let’s look at the other side of the coin for a moment. A large part of the reason that we are being ignored is because of who we are. Think about that for just a second. Did you hear about looting? Did you hear about crime sprees? No…you didn’t. You heard about people pulling their neighbors off of rooftops. You saw a group of people trying to move two horses to higher ground. No…we didn’t loot. Our biggest warning was, “Don’t play in the floodwater.” When you think about it…that speaks a lot for our city. A large portion of why we were being ignored was that we weren’t doing anything to draw attention to ourselves. We were handling it on our own.
Some will be quick to find fault in the way rescue operations were handled, but the fact of the matter is that the catastrophe could not have been prevented and it is simply ignorant beyond all reason to suggest otherwise. It is a flood. It was caused by rain. You can try to find a face to stick this tragedy to, but you’ll be wrong.
Parts of Nashville that could never even conceivably be underwater were underwater. Some of them still are. Opry Mills and the Opryland Hotel are, for all intents and purposes, destroyed. People died sitting in standstill traffic on the Interstate. We saw boats going down West End. And, of course, we all saw the surreal image of the portable building from Lighthouse Christian floating into traffic and being destroyed when cars were knocked into it. I’m still having trouble comprehending all of it.
And yet…life will go on. We’ll go back to work, to school, to our lives…and we’ll carry on. In a little over a month, I’ll be on this website talking about the draft. In October, we’ll be discussing the new Predators’ season with nary a thought of these past few days. But in a way, they changed everyone in this town. We now know that that it can happen to us…but also know that we can handle it.


Wild Thing's comment.......

The national media gave this disaster only 15 minutes this entire week:

John Rich on Rush earlier and he composed and recorded a song about the flood . Free download of the song available on

........and there is also a donation button on the site to help those who’ve pretty much lost everything because of the flood.

God bless the people of Tennessee.

Singer Taylor Swift gave half a million to the flood victims fund. God bless her for her generosity.

Idiot on CNN said he could not believe all the volunteer help that has come out to help their neighbors in Nashville...He was amazed !!!!!


Responsible people help others....This is exactly why Tennessee is known as the “Volunteer State”...

Has France offered any help? Has Germany offered any help? Has Mexico offered any help? Has haiti offered any help?

Has the UN offered any help?

The floods in Tennessee have devastated Nashville. Damages are estimated at $1 billion.

How to donate/pitch in....Michelle Malkin has a list at her blog.

.... Thank you Jim for sending this to me.

Posted by Wild Thing at May 8, 2010 07:49 AM


My uncle lives in Nashville and was one of those who lost their home.

As of yet, I haven't heard of Obama or any of his top dogs visiting Nashville. These flood waters came up so fast, many people literally just got out of their homes in time, leaving with just the clothes on their backs.

Posted by: BobF at May 8, 2010 10:20 AM

Just like the flood victims in Iowa and the tornado victims in Oklahoma City, these stalwart competant people in Tennessee and Kentucky will get back up and continue on with their lives. Nashville is not a "chocolate city" full of wefare receipiants and govt. hangers on. My prayers go out to the people affected.

Posted by: TomR at May 8, 2010 10:36 AM

TomR. My thoughts exactly. Iowa didn't snivel and look for handouts. They just pitched in and got the job done. No looting.

Posted by: Dave Hancock 18Zulu at May 8, 2010 01:49 PM

Exactly, where is FEMA, where is the media, nobodies covering this. Obama doesn't want to be bothered with a natural disaster like this. Maybe like the oil explosion they don't think it's serious enough yet. It wasn't caused by an American Terrorists.

If this were a Republican in the White House every democrat would be screaming from Detroit to San Francisco and along with their willing hand maidens in the press. They are truly disgusting. Especially that asshole from Kenya.

Posted by: Mark at May 8, 2010 03:36 PM

Just heard on the News Janet Incompetano finally made it to Nashville. Had Bush waited 10 days during Katrina, there would have been a revolution.

Posted by: Mark at May 8, 2010 05:17 PM

I just returned home from a Nashville visit to pick up a son from college. My heart goes out to everyone there. The Cumberland River had just dropped below flood state. It is devastating to see the losses that have been sustained. I venture to say that at least 50% of the counties in TN are noted as disaster areas. The Nashville community has really banded together via the telethon for donations, music folks pitching in, pta moms getting donations to pass out to those in need, etc. The city will be back, there is no doubt, but not without these lifetime scars.

Posted by: jan at May 8, 2010 11:30 PM

BobF., I am so sorry to hear what happened to your Uncle.

Thank you everyone so much.

Mark thanks for the info.incompetano is a good name for her.

Posted by: Wild Thing at May 9, 2010 06:07 AM