Thursday, May 6, 2010

Nashville on my Mind

There is so much horror out there in the world that I just want to power down sometimes. And then you come across an article like this one. It reaffirms my faith in our ability to do the right thing, and it makes me ever so proud to be a product of this environment:

We Are Nashville

We Are Nashville

Allow me a moment to step away from the usual voice of this website.

What I am about to write has absolutely nothing to do with hockey.

If you live outside of Nashville, you may not be aware, but our city was hit by a 500-year flood over the last few days. The national news coverage gave us 15 minutes, but went back to focusing on a failed car bomb and an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. While both are clearly important stories, was that any reason to ignore our story? It may not be as terror-sexy as a failed car bomb or as eco-sexy as an oil spill, but that’s no reason to be ignored.

The Cumberland River crested at its highest level in over 80 years. Nashville had its highest rainfall totals since records began. People drowned. Billions of dollars in damage occurred. It is the single largest disaster to hit Middle Tennessee since the Civil War. And yet…no one knows about it.

Does it really matter? Eventually, it will…as I mentioned, there are billions of dollars in damage. It seems bizarre that no one seems to be aware that we just experienced what is quite possibly the costliest non-hurricane disaster in American history. The funds to rebuild will have to come from somewhere, which is why people need to know. It’s hard to believe that we will receive much relief if there isn’t a perception that we need it.

But let’s look at the other side of the coin for a moment. A large part of the reason that we are being ignored is because of who we are. Think about that for just a second. Did you hear about looting? Did you hear about crime sprees? No…you didn’t. You heard about people pulling their neighbors off of rooftops. You saw a group of people trying to move two horses to higher ground. No…we didn’t loot. Our biggest warning was, “Don’t play in the floodwater.” When you think about it…that speaks a lot for our city. A large portion of why we were being ignored was that we weren’t doing anything to draw attention to ourselves. We were handling it on our own.

Some will be quick to find fault in the way rescue operations were handled, but the fact of the matter is that the catastrophe could not have been prevented and it is simply ignorant beyond all reason to suggest otherwise. It is a flood. It was caused by rain. You can try to find a face to stick this tragedy to, but you’ll be wrong.

Parts of Nashville that could never even conceivably be underwater were underwater. Some of them still are. Opry Mills and the Opryland Hotel are, for all intents and purposes, destroyed. People died sitting in standstill traffic on the Interstate. We saw boats going down West End. And, of course, we all saw the surreal image of the portable building from Lighthouse Christian floating into traffic and being destroyed when cars were knocked into it. I’m still having trouble comprehending all of it.

And yet…life will go on. We’ll go back to work, to school, to our lives…and we’ll carry on. In a little over a month, I’ll be on this website talking about the draft. In October, we’ll be discussing the new Predators’ season with nary a thought of these past few days. But in a way, they changed everyone in this town. We now know that that it can happen to us…but also know that we can handle it.

Because we are Nashville.

source

16 comments:

Nurse Nancy said...

We have been watching this carefully as FlyBoy has a colleague that lives in Nashville. He and his family are fine but tells us it is so hard to watch.....what a great piece you posted. Thanks!

TSannie said...

There are some places that could certainly learn a thing or two from Nashville's example.

Traci said...

I was born and raised in Nashville and still live here- it is hands down the most hospitable and helpful city I've ever encountered- and we're tough. This flood was HUGE- I cannot begin to describe the damage, but life is going on in the middle of it. Thanks for posting!

Debbie said...

I've been watching/reading everything I can find, but the writer is correct. There is hardly nothing on the news. I saw a woman who had watched her husband try to help her daughter and they were both swept to their death. I've been through 2 teeny weeny floods, and can't even fathom this.

Wonderful lesson Mama and thanks for posting this...

Drama Queen said...

Our family took a vacation about 5 years ago in Nashville - it was one of our best vacations EVER - and my kids still talk about to this day.

Nashville is very much on my mind as I sit here in KC. Being a volunteer with the American Red Cross, I know we've sent hundreds of volunteers there from all over the country to help - and we're monitoring it very closely.

Thoughts and prayers to the people of Tennessee and the volunteers helping.

Daryl said...

Thanks for this. I am headed down there next weekend to celebrate a friend's 60th birthday out in Franklin and I hope things have improved by then ...

Diane said...

It is an interesting perspective... directly opposite of what we heard from the media when Katrina hit land. "why didn't someone do something?"

Here's hoping these strong folks continue to pull together!

Keetha said...

Thank you for sharing that. Well said!

Hilary said...

Thanks for posting this. It's so true about bigger stories "flooding" the airways while more localized events are downplayed. Hopefully Nashville will come out of this ok.

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

Great Post MPM~I have been following this as well. Our local Red Cross left for Nashville a few days ago. It is a disaster there right now. Hang in there Nashville...there are folks praying for you!
<><

The Incredible Woody said...

I know several families that have lost everything. And by everything, I mean they have the clothes on their back. So very sad...

Deb in Spain said...

Miss Ives;

My father contacted me to tell me about Nashville realizing that international CNN wouldn't give it much coverage...hard for me to even imagine where all that water was. Love to all those good Nashvillians.

These Nine Acres said...

I had no idea this went on. Glad I stopped in today. I really need to make time for national news, apparently!

Nancy said...

Great post and great writing. You brought this home to all of us. And you are so right about the media. Congrats to Nashville for setting an example we all should follow.

Grandma J said...

I have been thinking about you, your family and Woody's with all the devastation in Nashville.

We were just talking about the lack of coverage and resources for Nashville Tennessee. I agree with you 100%.

Our church took up a collection for TN and MS flood victims.

Thank you for the reminder.

Love you

Debbie said...

Did you see where CNN is NOW in Nashville and all of a sudden all the country singers have jumped in? I think everyone was in shock and reality hit. Thank goodness they'll get some help now!! If Anderson is there...it will get done. Sanjay will be there next :)