05 May 2010

Nashville 2010 Flooding; The Day After

After the long dark weekend of the monsoon Nashville suffered, Monday brought about blue skies dotted with friendly cotton ball puff clouds.  The sun had been replaced by the stinging rains of the weekend and all was right once again with the world.  My home, christened years ago by an unremembered friend as "Fort Donelson", had done an admirable job of sheltering my family from a very pissed off Mother Nature for the last two days.  Thirteen inches of rain and Fort Donelson took on a thimble full of water around the door to our utility room.  Even after the rains stopped Sunday night, there was a large puddle at the end of our driveway and three small limbs downed in the front yard.

My home rests less than half a mile from the intersection of Mill Creek and the Cumberland River, but all weekend I wasn't concerned for the safety of my family.  Fort Donelson sits approximately 100 feet above the  banks of the Cumberland.  I had even once brushed off an insurance salesman hawking flood insurance to me with,"If my house gets flooded there won't be a Nashville left."  Now with a large tracts of Davidson Country underwater, I left to go to lunch.

Making my way down the street, no one could tell that anything was even wrong in Nashville.  A woman leisurely swept her porch and a man at another house was even cutting his grass.  In my neighborhood, the day after brought just another sunny day.  The realities of Nashville the day after were just down my savior of a hill. The basin next to Mill Creek had turned into a lake. The Donelson marina, that failed due to capital investments, had secured funding from the rain gods.   Large rolls of hay that were in that basin were bobbing through the brown water like corks in a science experiment.  The homes on the opposite side of Mill Creek were underwater.  For a good half a mile from the usual western banks of Mill Creek, families had lost everything.  Their homes invaded by water and their existences forever shewed, and I had left to go to lunch.

I was faced with a feeling that I had never had before.  With 37 years behind me, I simply thought there was nothing new left to feel. It must have be something akin to survivor's guilt.  Why was my home, my family, my life spared in the worst tragedy since the Battle of Nashville in 1864?  I can't even begin to guess at the motives on high for this passover. The only thing I was certain of, is that once the waters begin to recede there's quite a bit of volunteering in my future.


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