Monday, May 03, 2010

sobering times

We've been a little distracted the last few days. The clear blue sky and brilliant sunshine of today belied the devastating rains and flooding that hit Nashville and middle Tennessee over the weekend. During those two days more than 18 inches of rain fell in the areas hardest hit, and our own community collected about 13 inches. The cessation of rain last night didn't put an end to the flooding, where the Cumberland River crested this afternoon, and will bring additional flooding to communities downstream in the next day or two.

We are fortunate. Our own yard collected significant puddles, but no damage. The yards of neighbors became large pools, and runoff sped through yards and created brooks in the yards behind us.
The brook that runs along the edge of the church rose to the corner of a modular structure where our education rooms are housed, but we were spared any further excitement there. Across the street the entire field flooded and washed across the road, closing the street and the elementary school just down the block.

A client of Ken's had her driveway washed out (below), and a parishioner's home is isolated from the road by a huge pond of water that extends several hundred yards across and three times that distance in length. Four wheel drive has made escape possible through neighboring yards on higher ground and circuitous routes to roads that lead to life.

Pictures of Nashville and the flooding of area highways have appeared nationally, but to live between the pelting raindrops and reroute routine travels to avoid drowned fields and roads is an eerie and nearly surreal experience. Saturday we visited Opry Mills, a sprawling mall next door to the Grand Ol' Opry, and a day later the banks of the river at its edge had overflowed and flooded the mall, the Opry, and the Opryland Hotel.

Businesses that surround our town square (Sunday's post) are sweeping out and drying out, trying to salvage what they can to stay in business while rebuilding against what they have lost.

Life. Loss. Perseverance and resilience are trumping tragedy and catastrophe, and neighbors are shoring up and sharing the burdens shouldered by one another. It is a time to reflect, to dig deep, to pitch in. We are blessed, and we give thanks for what we have as others grieve their losses.

Pray for those whose lives have been turned upside down, or worse. We are giving thanks that it wasn't our day to be one of them.


karen said...

Oh, Anne...I feel for your community, as we in the Northeast, Peabody specifically have suffered the same damages earlier this spring as you have suffered.

As I was walking through downtown the other day I noticed signs on businesses that state the structure is now unsafe to inhabit...due to repeated water damage over the years. I hate to see small businesses suffer in such tough times...
Prayers for your community as it dries out and accesses damage.

Jayne said...

When I saw the photos of the hotel under water, and heard it also rose in the Grand Ole Opry downtown, I was so very sad. Nature is powerful, and we are powerless to do anything but pick up the pieces. Prayers ascend to all those who lost homes, businesses, and more... those who lost their lives.

Caroleb said...

My step nephew lives in OH near WV & that got flooding on Sun.His wife posted a picture on facebook of him standing knee deep in water.

Mary Beth said...

Praying. Horrible.

mid-life rookie said...

I spent Tues - Thurs at meetings in Nashville - on high ground. It seemed wierd to me to be meeting, learning, and laughing when others were struggling just a short distance away. But at the same time, 9 of us had come from across the country to work and learn together. I imagine it is hard when life goes on all around you, but it seems as if it should have stopped. Prayers continuing.


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