Highwater Risin’ in Middle Tennessee

In the last 48 hours, we have had 10–15″ of rain in and around Nashville, Tennessee. I have lived here for 26 years and have never seen rain or a flood like this. It was eerie last night to watch National Guard trucks roll by in front of our house with soldiers in full camouflage and helmets.

Here are just a few quick facts:

  • The park where I normally run, was turned into a lake.
  • All the roads in and out of Franklin, where I live, were closed.
  • The mayor of Nashville has declared a state of emergency. The governor is attempting to get Nashville declared a federal disaster area.
  • The Cumberland River, which winds through downtown Nashville, rose more than 50 feet—a record. As I am writing this, First and Second Avenue are under water.
  • Thousands of homes, basements, and cars are filled with water.
  • Entire neighborhoods are still submerged, leaving thousands displaced. Thousands more are without power.
  • So far, eleven people have died.

Yesterday morning, I spoke with a friend of mine, Andy Reese, who happens to be a flood engineer. He said that this is the worst flood in Franklin in more than 500 years. (They have written records of the biggest flood in the last years. They have geological data going back more than 500 years.)

Thankfully, Gail and I experienced little damage. We had an inch of water in the basement and a leaky roof in one spot that created some sheetrock damage upstairs.

However, my sister and her family weren’t so fortunate. They had a foot or so of water in the first floor. It destroyed their flooring and some of the sheetrock. In fact, we are headed to their home shortly to help. (The roads just opened here, so we can drive through.)

We also closed Thomas Nelson today. As far as I know, we didn’t have any water damage at our corporate headquarters or at our warehouse. However, we were concerned that our employees could not get into work. More importantly, we want them to be free to deal with their own issues or help out with their family, friends, and neighbors.

My blogging may be a little irregular this week. I would be grateful for your prayers as our community deals with the aftermath of this storm.

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