So I've decided to delay the theme of the blog for one more day. For the past couple of days, I can't seem to take myself away from the news coming out of Tennessee with all the flooding and record rainfalls. Unofficial rainfall totals are in the 16-20" range for Friday-Sunday. On Monday at work, I was watching the streaming online coverage from one of Nashville's news affiliates and I couldn't believe what they were showing. I have to give Keith Olbermann (whom I'm not a fan of) some credit with his view on how the Oil Spill in the Gulf, failed terrorist bombing in NYC and Arizona immigration laws are overshadowing the natural disaster in Tennessee (please watch the video below). He couldn't be more right about what's going on in Tennessee.
Most of you know that Nashville is where I grew up, I still consider it home and have a lot of family there. The amount of damage that has happened is shocking. The Opryland area sustained heavy damage and the hotel, Opry Mills mall, and the Opry House will be out of commission for months. The downtown area suffered a bit of damage too but I have a feeling that it will be quicker to rebound than the Opryland area.
My parents live 5 minutes from the Opryland area and I've been there more times than I can count; I can't believe what I've seen on TV. My mom works part time in the hotel, but she won't be working there for the foreseeable future, if ever again. Luckily, my family escaped serious damage: my parents had water in the garage, my aunt had water in her basement and my uncle's swimming pool is now a muddy mess from what I hear.
My friend Lillian and her husband Brian didn't get as lucky but it could have been worse. She told me on Sunday that water was coming up through the foundation on to their parquet floors. Yesterday she told me that they had to rip all the floors and baseboards up in their finished basement. They live close to the Cumberland River and from what they told me, the water level crept into their backyard but never got to the house. The neighbors behind them weren't that lucky.
Most everyone affected in TN don't have flood insurance because this flood was unprecedented in the state's history. There are going to be messy insurance claims and lawsuits coming out of this flood. The biggest issue that I see is insurance companies trying to write everything off as flood damage and not paying off claims, when in fact that some houses (like Lillian's) had water damage but not due to flood waters. I told her to take a ton of pictures and to fight it, I hope that it works out for her and Brian.
There's a ton of damage to the entire Middle TN area and it pains me to be so far away and not able to help. I don't know when I'll be up in Nashville again, but I hope it's soon so I can help somewhere doing something.
Happy Sixth Birthday, Mason!
10 months ago