Our Nashville

I just want to second what Holly Wynne says here. There’s not a soul alive who hasn’t seen news footage of something happening to some OTHER place they know. But when it’s the places you hang out, the places you see every day, the roads you drive down…

I mean, I was going to live to be an old age and then die and haunt the back end of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. It’s under water. My hauntin’ spot is ruined.

And I’m trying to be funny, but it’s making me cry.

So, yeah, I was glad Keith Olbermann remembered us tonight.

They’ve been sandbagging at Metrocenter (in it’s pre-industrial life, it was a swamp of sorts, so you know it’s happy to flood again if it can), but if the levee breaks before the water gets back down below flood stage, we’ll lose our internet. So… if posting becomes more sporatic, that’s what’s going on with that.

I’m having a hard time tonight, I’ll just say. I want everything back, shiny and clean. I want little old couples trying to get to church to not end up dead behind the grocery store. You know, just small things.

The hardest part is that some places are fine. You’re driving along and everything looks like it normally does and then you turn a corner or come over a hill or cross a bridge and there is all the terribleness. And for some people it’s over. And for some people it’s ongoing.

And I feel so bad. I guess it’s survivor’s guilt. I feel so strange that, for us, it just kind of stinks. For others, it means nothing, and for others, it sucks. And for others… I mean, what they’ve lost… it’s too much.

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11 thoughts on “Our Nashville

  1. The hardest part is that some places are fine. You’re driving along and everything looks like it normally does and then you turn a corner or come over a hill or cross a bridge and there is all the terribleness. And for some people it’s over. And for some people it’s ongoing.

    I don’t know if that’s truly the hardest part, but you certainly nailed the unsettlingness (it might not have been a word, but it is now!) of it all that is rattling around within me.

  2. Drove around my District today, the northeast of the County was hit harder than most people think. Hadley, Neely’s, and Pennington bends all hit hard with the water still rising. The river was supposed to crest at 8 P.M., lets hope it did. Our People seem upbeat and resilient. I got to fly on a Black Hawk Helicopter with the FEMA regional Director, Gov. Bredesen and Mayor Dean. The devastation would bring tears to your eyes, we will have alot of work ahead of us to clean up this mess. Gov. Bredesen has been the phone with President Obama and the FEMA director is in town. I expect a quick response from the Feds and the Obama Administration. We have major help on the way, our People are great, we will be okay.

  3. It’s good to hear that you are doing OK – I wondered if your area had flooded. Many around the country are aware of your situation, TN was in our prayers this Sunday although that may be of limited effect (you never know). As a longtime resident of Oklahoma I know how destructive nature can be, and how random.

  4. It’s really weird downtown. At first it was just like every day, but then the closer I got to the river the more I started noticing differences. Roaring generators, the power out in SoBro, and then I got to the police baricades and saw the water. I design for 100 year floods every day. But I rarely seriously think about what that really means.

    And of course I’m getting emails hassling me about not doing my timesheet. The mayor says “Don’t come downtown!”. One water treatement plant underwater and the other one in danger, so there’s no water. But the governor expects us all to come to work anyway. It’s insane.

  5. Pingback: Survivor’s Guilt | Speak to Power

  6. It almost feels like the river is sick of being ignored (at least, having lived in river cities all my life, I get the impression that Nashville forgets the Cumberland in ways that other places don’t forget about their rivers). So, given the rain, it goes back to the swamps it used to fill, and it bursts its banks and screams “look at me, look at me.”

    I don’t know how long fixing things up is going to take, or how much the fixing up will cost.* But I hope that once it’s all done, we bring the river more into our consciousness and the way we live here. Eh, I guess the fact that it’s down at the bottom of a gorge is what kept this from being much, much worse.

    *Is it just the way the story is being covered, or is it the case that all the tourist-attracting and money-making institutions of this city have been harder hit than anything else? Opryland, all the downtown tourist/cultural stuff, hospitals, whatever?

  7. The Cumberland got all the tourist areas pretty hard, but the residential areas in Bellvue took a beating from the Harpeth. The developers got greedy and built waaay up in the Harpeth floodplain and now the people that bought from the greedy developers are paying the price.

  8. Mike, I’ve been hearing some about the devastation in Old Hickory. How are you? Do you still have a house? Are your guys at the fire station okay? Do you need us to bring you cookies?

    W., one thing we can learn from this is that there needs to be some coordination at just basic levels. When you have the mayor and the police chief asking people to just stay home, employers should stop up to honor that, not be telling people to come into work.

    But y’all are doing an amazing job. I cannot believe the interstates are back open.

    NM, I think it’s just the way the story’s being covered. My poor co-worker out in Pennington Bend heard they were evacuating Pennington Bend from me, when I emailed him to ask him if he needed a place to stay. I think now that they’ve decided what the easy narrative is–and what out of towners will recognize–that’s what they’re sticking with.

    Plus, it’s a lot easier to get a helicopter over Opry Mills or to stand downtown than it is to get out to Ashland City. That’s not a bash on the media. I’m honestly not sure if you can get to Ashland City any more.

    The scope of this is just not going to be known until we can get out to some places. I mean, I’m just imagining a lot of little Bellevues all over Middle Tennessee.

  9. The failure to cover anything but the tourist attractions and downtown could have really put some folks at risk. I know why they do it – it doesn’t change how frustrating it is.

    I know someone who stayed overnight in the second floor of her flooded River Plantation condo because by the time you started hearing anything about Bellevue, it was because they were loading people out on boats.

    My friend Matt (@maxey2005 on The Twitter) was at his girlfriend’s house – she just 3 days before the flooding started had moved into a house at the end of Pennington Bend (and amazingly enough, she has flood insurance – they wouldn’t let her close without it). I kept urging them to leave, but because they weren’t hearing anywhere else they waited much longer than they should have. The water is up to the second floor of her house. They each evacuated to their parents’ in Ashland City.

  10. Thinking of y’all out here in California. Glad you guys are okay. If there is a silver lining, perhaps it will be that David Simon will make an awesome show about Nashville next.

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