There’s a reason I’ll never venture to California. Some might think I’m crazy, but I swear, I have this intuitive knowledge that if I ever set foot there, “The Big One” will hit. I’m talking the earthquake that’s predicted that will send (hopefully not really) California into the ocean when it hits. It’s just my sorta luck.
Ironically, though it wasn’t forecast, the same can be said for “The Thousand Year Flood,” that struck Nashville the weekend of my Art Show Reception at The Mad Platter. I know it’s not all about me, in fact, I feel so very fortunate that we didn’t suffer any loss or damage due to the flooding that took place. But, yes, the Army Corps of Engineers calls it a “Thousand Year Flood” occurrence since it so far surpassed flooding predicted even for 500 year flood plains!
The several days after the flooding were basically spent regaining normalcy here in Middle Tennessee. Several tragedies struck, including loss of several lives, countless homes, and even significant damage to major landmarks including the Grand Ole Opry, Opryland Hotel, Downtown Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame, the Schermerhorn Symphony Hall, and more. It was tragic and devastating and the outside world didn’t seem to realize the magnitude of the 12-24 inches of rainfall we here in Middle Tennessee experienced in less than 30 hours because nothing happens in a vacuum.
My Mad Platter art show reception had to be postponed and as disappointed as I am, this is not about me, or the show, but about an entire culture and way of life! We’re a resilient people and of course, can and will rebuild, but the loss of cultural treasures and property is great. Nashville’s Mayor Purcell estimates damage will exceed $1.5 billion. The Opryland Hotel, with it’s 2900 rooms, will not reopen until October or later, according to official sources. The tourism industry will take a great hit, and at a time when our country doesn’t need an additional financial burden of this sort, FEMA will have to lay out funding to cover the damages of 27 Tennessee Counties which were declared Federal Disaster Areas.
I’m still just stunned that so much water could fall in such a short amount of time. Sure, there was flash flooding predicted, but they were expecting what, four inches of rainfall? Just shocking in its enormity. And the speed with which it took place. I recognize we were very fortuante, Bindy and I… The closure of I-24 did take one life. A woman was stuck in her car as the highway flooded ever more and cars were unable to move in the traffic jam. And a waiter from the restaurant where we stopped for lunch, returning home on foot after his shift, drowned in the floodwaters leaving behind two young sons. The tragedies all around us remind me how very fortunate we were. Postponement of my art show’s reception was nothing in the grand scheme of things.
Thankfully, now, a week later, the rivers have receded to below flood stage and my reception has been rescheduled. Bindy won’t be able to come back this time, and that’s a huge bummer. But on the other hand, Nashville is back from the brink and the destruction is behind us.