July 27, 2010

Nashville Flood-The Destruction

The water didn't get in the house.  
Though the water had already begun to recede, the river was still raging through the back yard.  Miraculously, the water had not entered our house and the neighbors house.  The power of prayer really shined down on those two families.  Everyone else on that street had water in their homes.  

While Nathan was back at our house, we began to hear of other tragic stories of families lives behind washed away, while we sat at my dad's house rejoicing and feeling guilty.  Our house was saved, and we were happy, but we couldn't help but feel guilty that everyone else was face to face with standing water in their homes.  Brittney and I hopped in my dad's car to drive into town to see what everyone was talking about.  The road leading to the middle and high school had been ripped apart, leaving a small raging river in it's place.  We had heard that there had been a State of Emergency declared for the mid state and TEMA, FEMA, and the National Guard were on their way to help.  We parked the car at the bank, and began to walk down to see the destruction.  As we were walking down the hill that lead to the schools, I heard a familiar noise.  I looked up and realized that my ears, and now my eyes, were not deceiving me.  There, flying low was a C-130 with the words U.S. Air Force stamped on the bottom of the aircraft's wings.  I stopped and watched this gray bird fly over us.  It hit me then and there that all of this wasn't a nightmare.  It was real and it was happening.  I said, "They're here!"  

After watching the C-130 fly over, Brittney and I continued to walk to towards the schools.  Once we reached the bottom of the hill we were slapped in the face with reality.  We stood there along side of about half of the town, trying to take in what our eyes were seeing.  Part of the road was gone.  Slabs on pavement had been torn apart and uprooted to different places along the sides of the rushing water.  Where houses used to stand, now only concrete foundations were left.  Three house had been completely washed away in the flood.  

After gawking for a moment, Brittney and I headed back to the car and drove back to my dad's.  Once we arrived to his house, my dad then headed down to the "old" downtown part of town.  The old pedestrian bridge was mangled, and the rail road bridge was destroyed.  Only the rail ties were left holding the bridge up.  Pieces of the houses that had been washed away, were found miles away from where they once stood; right in front of my dad.  

The next day, we all were able to make it back to our house.  The clean up process had begun.  Trees had been uprooted, the chain-linked fence was destroyed, the garage was gone, and pieces of people's lives were scattered all across the neighborhood.

Over the next few weeks, our community came together.  Our small town showed what love, and compassion really is.    Neighbors helped neighbors pull soggy dry wall, water logged carpet, and anything else that needed to be removed from each others homes.  Houses were gutted.  But we were lucky.  The crawl space under our house only received damage.

Even months after the flood, the clean up and reconstruction of Nashville is still going on.  So many lives were affected and torn apart by this tragedy.    

Though it technically wasn't my house where I was staying and then eventually had to evacuate from, I still call it that when I look back on the moment.  I had been living with my brother and sister-in-law since January.  It had become my home.  Just writing about the flood and looking at pictures, puts me right back in the moment.  I didn't know what to write when I decided to write this, but I realized that the whole story needed to be told.  Every move that we made that day needed to be shared.  I know that without actually seeing the water and destruction for yourself it is hard to comprehend.  Believe me, if I hadn't lived it first hand, I wouldn't understand it either.  I strongly urge you to Google the Nashville Flood.  Take a look at the pictures.  Go on YouTube and search Nashville Flood and watch some of the posted videos.  



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