July 23, 2010

Nashville Flood-Rising Water

Sunday morning, May 2nd, I was awakened by Brittney calling my name.  I shot up from bed and ran downstairs where I saw her looking out the back window of the house.  She told me to come look, and I wasn't prepared for what I saw when I reached the window.  We stood there in awe looking at the water that had now reached the chain-linked fence in the back yard.  Nathan and Brittney decided that they needed to get the boat and the four wheelers out of their garage, which is located right beside the fence in the back yard.  As they were moving the boat and the four wheelers, me and Hannah stood at the window watching the water rise.  When they started moving things out of the garage, the water was at the fence, when they finished, they were standing knee deep in water.  As soon as they got back in the house, I went upstairs and packed a bag. I didn't tell them what I did, but I just wanted to be prepared.  
As the morning pressed on, and the rain continued to fall, and the waters of the Harpeth River rose higher.  We stood at the windows watching the water turn from rising water to a fast moving river.  The water started to engulf even more of the chain-linked fence as it got closer to the house.  We watched the river's current completely rip apart and take away the garage in the back yard.  People in the neighborhood started to try and move things to higher ground.  Around one o'clock that afternoon, with rain still coming down, Brittney opened the front door.  She turned around and looked at me and Nathan and said, "It's going to hit us from the front first."  We looked out the front door where we saw the water taking over people's homes and making it's way across the street.  Our entire neighborhood was trapped.  No way in and no way out.  After we saw what would soon become our fate, we kicked it in high gear.  Nathan decided it was time to start moving things.  Just as the decision had been made, the lights started to flicker on and off.  Just a few flashes of light later, the electricity was out.  The river in the back yard was rising up the 18 ft tall porch.  In just about an hour we had miraculously moved everything that would fit upstairs in the bonus room.  While we were in Nathan and Brittney's room trying to get the bed up and off of the floor, I happened to look out the window.  I looked down at the water that was just inches away from the bottom of the window and knew we had to get out of there fast.  Bed's were stacked on top of folding chairs, dressers were placed on bathroom sinks, couches were stacked on crates, and the TV stand was sitting on top of the kitchen table.  Our bags were all packed, and now we had to figure out how to get out of the neighborhood to higher ground.

We had been talking to friends and family on and off the whole day.  Everyone was trying to find a way to get to us.  Nathan and our dad came up with an evacuation plan; cut a path from the backside of the neighborhood to the interstate.  We did last minute packing, grabbing anything and everything we might need.  The four of us hopped in Nathan's truck with our bags and drove to where my dad was making a way for us to get to him.  My dad and a friend of his were on the interstate side with chainsaws and other tools cutting the path.  On the neighborhood side was someone with a bobcat clearing a way as well.  With a backpack on her back, and Hannah in her arms, Brittney started to cross over to the interstate.  I followed behind her with bags on my shoulders.  Nathan stayed back trying to help clear the path.  As Nathan stood on the road watching his wife carry his two year old daughter to a truck on the side of the interstate, Brittney's foot got stuck.  She tried to keep her balance and hold Hannah as tightly as a mother could.  I tried to help release Brittney's foot, but I looked up to Hannah and saw her little hands stretched out reaching and crying for her Daddy.  I looked back at Nathan standing there helpless.  It was one of the most horrible moments of our lives.


Debra Lee said...

Your Daddy was my hero that day!


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