Friday, May 07, 2010

We Are STILL Nashville

The waters are going back down below flood level, but the aftermath lingers on.

It's the kind of thing you watch on tv but never think about happening to you. It's business as usual in my community of Bellevue, but you take a wrong turn and see a lake where a soccer field used to be. You drive past a business with a hand-painted "flood cleanup help wanted, 10-15 an hour" sign. You see mountains of bottled water at the front of grocery stores, and moms with kids in tow grabbing the last of the paper plates and plastic cups and baby wipes (conserve water! conserve water!)

Traffic out toward my exit on west I-40 is ridiculous during rush hour, when it is typically easy breezy from Charlotte Pike and beyond. Every day, we see new vehicles from new states carrying heavy-duty hoses, vacuums, ladders, and strange metal pumping devices. I saw fire and water damage business vans from Illinois and Oklahoma driving around the west end of town yesterday. Seriously! Oklahoma. Either we've taken up every free repair company for a 10-hour radius, or people from other states have heard of our plight and are driving our way to do what they can to help.

Thank you!

And, as the British would say, Keep Calm and Carry On, Nashville.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Thursday Tattle / Put Down That Can!

Today's tattle is again brought to you by my incredulous husband's observant eye and insane drivers everywhere.

This one goes out to you, Mr. Chinese Fire Drill Beer Drinker. You crazy rule-bending road champion. You master of the truckbed cooler.

Somehow, when Nashville authorities asked you to conserve water, you complied by drinking beer? After getting out of your car at a stop light? And walking around behind to the passenger's side of your truckbed? And pulling out a beer from a cooler? And opening it? And drinking it?

And walking back around just before the light turned green, getting back into the driver's seat, and continuing to sip your tasty beverage of choice as you drove away?

Brilliant. Just brilliant.

In the words of that wise sage, Bill Engvall, HERE'S YOUR SIGN.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

A New Song

Nashville Flood 2010 from Ben De Rienzo on Vimeo.

Nashville Needs an Ark!

We didn't float away, but our Internet connection may have.

Nobody expected the disaster from this weekend that ended up with whole streets and sub-divisions under water. For 2 1/2 days, the rains came down and the floods came up. My husband and I, thank God, are safe and sound, with only soggy shoes drying out on our doorstep, a leak in our bathroom ceiling, Facebook status addiction withdrawal from our Internet provider's lack of service (getting right on that, AT&T?), and an army of displaced refugee ants in our kitchen to show that anything happened.

We are sorry to inform the world wide web community that the ants will soon die as they have been feasting for the past 12 hours on delicious and deadly poison drops. I'm sorry. I know that is insect cruelty, but they must go.

The irony is that the floods began at the exact time we started looking around at other apartments and homes for rent in our community. The two places we visited ended up under water not even 24 hours later. I feel deeply saddened for the losses the people in those areas suffered. It's horrible. Devastating. Shocking. Numbing. And yet I can't help but feel a twinge of gladness that we did not apply at either place to rent in the future. Is that horrible? I know this is a flood of epic proportions--we met people who had lived in the Bellevue area of Nashville for nearly 50 years and had not seen anything of this magnitude. But what if it happens again? Suddenly I am shying away from any viewing any property that mentions the descriptors "Cumberland" or "Harpeth" or "River."

The day after the storms, we were able to find one road to get to work for me (and Panera to work remotely for him) on Monday when the interstates and most major secondary roads were still closed. This, after realizing that with only a quarter tank of gas in his car, we should probably get more in case we were stuck or stranded at any point on the way. So we tried. But our stations only accepted cash (and we only had $8). We went to the ATM. It was down. We went to the grocery store and tried to do cash back. Denied. We waited for the bank to open. It didn't. The vault would not open and all lines were down. A very kind teller offered to give us $5 of her own money to get gas (thank you so much, whoever you are!) We thanked her but declined. We had stocked the car with food and water in case we got stuck anywhere, but we needed gas. Fortunately we did find a bank that was open and also a gas station that accepted debit cards a little further down the one road we could take into Nashville. From that point on, the debris and caution tape that had been cut down marked where water had been across the road we took, but it was safe to travel. I made it in to work only two hours late. It was a surreal experience. Since then, our phone service has returned, but the Internet is still down and my access is limited to work hours.

Please pray for the flood victims. Daniel and I are hoping to contribute in some way. I almost feel guilty that we were spared anything more than inconveniences, when neighbors a mere 5-10 minutes down the road from us lost everything and were rescued by boat from the second stories of their homes.

Photo by: president raygun