Oh my goodness, modern friends, I am emotionally tapped out. So many major things have been going on -- both good and bad -- that to say I've been stressed out lately is kind of an understatement. Who knew that buying a house, preparing to move, getting engaged, working a stressful job and watching a natural disaster engulf your former hometown would be taxing on the emotions?
Yeah, on that last little bit about the natural disaster engulfing my former hometown ... Nashville is underwater. Or at least, it was underwater for about four days. Fortunately the waters are starting to subside. The Modern Love Machine and I made a trip there this weekend to catch a Jimmy Buffett concert with my family (don't knock it 'til you try it ... with beer or tequila, preferably) and give our respective families time to hang and bond and become one.
The hanging and bonding and becoming one didn't really happen. It started to rain late Friday night. And it did.not.stop. Imagine the hardest rain you've ever been through. And then imagine that going on for two and half days. I've experienced a hurricane in Florida, and this was very much the same without the gale-force winds. By Sunday night, Nashville had received 13 inches of rain. Let me put that into context for you. It was twice the amount of the previous record for a two-day rainfall. It was over 25 percent of the city's annual rainfall, and Nashville isn't exactly a dry climate.
The city also has a fairly large river running through it -- the Cumberland River, a tributary of the slightly better known Tennessee River. The Cumberland crested 12 feet over flood stage, swamping the honky tonk district, the Grand Ole Opry, Opryland, parts of the Tennessee Titans' LP Field and the downtown hockey arena. It also has countless smaller rivers and creeks that surround it, and those rivers and creeks have taken out thousands of homes. I think the death toll is up to about 24.
Need visuals? Look at these photos. Or watch this classroom (yes, classroom), float down Interstate 24 (yes, an Interstate)
It's been a little depressing to watch.
But, as with most situations there's been some humor. There's a gigantic mall that's essentially underwater. There was a restaurant there called the Aquarium Restaurant, where one would dine among gigantic fish tanks filled with exotic saltwater fish. Those fish, sadly, drowned in the fresh waters of the overrun Cumberland River. Except for one kind of fish which CAN survive in fresh water -- the piranhas. Who are now swimming around the mall's concourses.
We barely made out of town on Sunday afternoon because all the interstates but one were closed. I'm guessing my old townhouse sustained some damage because of its proximity to one of the flooded creeks. I still have plenty of friends (and the Modern Inlaws) in Nashville. Most of them were spared, but they're all hurting. If you can find it in your hearts to donate a little money for the flood relief (because trust me, this city needs it -- this was a once-every-500-years kind of thing), here and here are two suggestions of where to do so.