Monday, May 03, 2010

Nashville Mayday Flood News: Rivers Are Still Rising, We Are in Serious Trouble

(Updated Photos) Downtown Nashville is flooded and the Cumberland River is still rising. There used to be a park downtown by the river, Riverfront Park is gone. The park is underwater, and the river is dangerously close to now flooding over the remaining small barrier of a sidewalk and into and all over downtown Nashville's historic buildings and businesses. For some reason there are not enough sandbags in Tennessee to devote to saving the downtown economy. Downtown merchants were told that they are on their own.

Big River Restaurant (at 2nd Avenue and Broadway) will be closed for 2 weeks in order to clean up and pump out some 7 feet of nasty sewage infested water. The power is out and the restaurant is busy salvaging some $10,000 worth of food. Officials have extended the evacuation order from 1st and 2nd Avenues to 3rd Avenue, that's because 1st and 2nd Avenue are lakes. If the river does flood into downtown, a really bad situation is going to get lots worse (Video: Downtown Nashville/Riverfront Park flooded). People in the canoe business should do really well, but the rest of us are pretty well screwed.

The mayor has asked that we use half as much water as normal, else we'll run out. There is no public transportation until further notice because MTA was flooded. There is no power in some super fine and economically important businesses, like the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, which has several feet of water in the basement (via NY Times).

Opryland Hotel is flooded, some 1500 guests were evacuated to a makeshift shelter in a high school where said guests got on their cell phones and discovered that all other hotels in the area are full to capacity. Opryland Hotel expects to be closed for months. (Video of Opryland Hotel dining room, etc. underwater, surreal.)

The death toll is at 21, more deaths are expected.

Like a lot of lucky people, I spent the weekend watching the teevee coverage of boats sailing up and down streets rescuing poor souls from their homes. The Harpeth River, which has already caused untold damage in places like Belleview and Franklin, is, like other rivers in flood-soaked Tennessee, still rising! It's going to get worse before it gets better. The Titans' football stadium, where they play the NFL games, is at risk flooded, the field is completely underwater. People in need of shelter should call: 615-862-8574.