(VIDEO) Thousand-Year Rains Flood and Devastate Tennessee
News of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and the attempted bombing of Times Square has somewhat overshadowed coverage of the devastating "thousand year" flood in Nashville and surrounding areas of Tennessee. Record rainfall in a relatively short period of time led to the Cumberland River cresting Monday at 51.8 feet.
There are reports of as many as 29 deaths across the Southeast attributed to the heavy rains. Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen has declared 52 counties disaster areas and has asked President Obama for federal assistance for the state.
The devastation is abundantly evident in images and videos emerging from the region. Mashable has a roundup of the visual story from Twitter and YouTube. In this video a portable classroom from a high school floats down a highway.
Celebrities like Ryan Seacrest and Kenny Chesney are rallying their fans and encouraging them to text "REDCROSS" to 90999 to send $10 to their disaster relief fund. The Red Cross has established shelters for flood victims who had to evacuate their homes and others, like 1,500 guests of the Opryland Hotel, which reportedly had as much as 10 feet of water in areas.
Tennessean.com has an updated page with ongoing coverage of the disaster.
Aunt B. at Tiny Cat Pants asks people to come support Tennessee:
But please, come. Come and visit. Even if it’s boring and all the stuff you wanted to see is ruined, come anyway, and spend your money and help us get back on our feet.
egalia at Tennesse Guerilla Women shares video of Keith Olbermann "Nashville flooded and forgotten."
Nine Months to Life describes what she has seen:
I thought I was maybe exaggerating what I'd seen driving around yesterday. As a writer I have a tendency to do that, to retell stories in my head with such building description that a puddle becomes a flood and a spark becomes a blaze. I wondered if I'd really seen water coming up to streetlights in blocked off areas ahead of me. If I'd really seen countless cars abandoned and water rushing into buildings and houses.
It wasn't my imagination.
Closer to Lucy is Surviving the Tennessee Flood of 2010.
I’ve had to restrict the amount of time I spend watching the continuous coverage as I have become so overwhelmed by the tragedy that has hit the music city and surrounding areas. Loss of life, home devastation, water rescues, rising water, lives, and livelihoods forever changed.