(Yes, people around here have horses.... not too terribly far outside of the city limits in fact.)
I have really appreciated all of the emails I got recently asking if I'm ok. Nashville did suffer from a catastrophic flood over the weekend. People died. Homes were destroyed. Downtown is under water (it's SO sad) and iconic spots in Nashville have pretty much been destroyed.
Go to YouTube and search for videos about Nashville flooding. Go on Facebook and search for groups about it to see the pictures. It's horrifying, really.
But I am one of the lucky ones. I was in East Nashville on Saturday when it started storming. Storms are not a big deal around here, so when you hear that one is in the forecast you don't really prep for the worst. No one knew what was going to happen.
Next thing I know, my mom is calling me all panicked to tell me not to come home because the interstate was flooding. We turned on the tv and watched the interstate I would have used turn into a river. Cars were floating. A school portable classroom came down, hit a bunch of cars and disappeared before our eyes.
Sunday, we woke to no power. It was STILL storming. Thunder. Lightning. Pouring rain. It had still not let up. A fallen tree across the road caused the power outage. Interstates were still closed. A short trip out to lunch took us by the park where one of the greenway systems is located... one that I've run many races on. We couldn't see it. The entire thing was under water.
The basement had flooded a bit, so we spent hours getting the mess cleaned up before it got too dark to work. It was nothing compared to what many people are facing.
Monday. Still no power. I was finally able to get home, clean up and head to work. I could hardly focus. I heard the Nashville mayor on the radio on my way in... while there weren't a ton of deaths (last I heard, the number was around 20), the devastation is MASSIVE. I personally know people who lost their homes and/or cars. The Cumberland River was still rising, and more and more of downtown was being flooded.
The Titans Stadium had water all the way up to the first row of seats. The hockey arena floor was covered. The symphony building was flooded, and the gorgeous organ inside was destroyed. Parking garages were under water. The sculpture on the river was totally submerged and destroyed (though I can't say I'm too sad about that one... it was ugly). Opry Mills Mall had water all the way up to the roof. Opryland Hotel had 10 feet of water throughout the first floor. The Grand Ole Opry had water all the way up to the stage.
Much of what makes Nashville what it is has been flooded. Businesses and homes have been lost.
But here's the thing. I love the south for many reasons, and one of the biggest is the people. We pull together. We count our blessings. We help each other out. And we get things back in gear.
I read a blog post today that sums things up about what I'm thinking better than I could have written myself. I'm going to copy and paste it below because I really believe you should read it, but you can find the original and the attribution here. I am in no way trying to pass these words off as my own - totally cut and pasted from that blog.