Sunday, May 2, 2010

Flooding worsens in Nashville, Middle Tennessee

By Donald Sensing

The rains have continued today, only slightly abated. With the forecast for rains to continue in Nashville and points north and south until about 9 tonight, it seems likely that flood levels will remain high, if not go higher, for many hours afterward. With not even two days in May completed, this is already the wettest May ever recorded and is the sixth-wettest month, May or not, ever recorded.

The Cumberland River, running through downtown Nashville, is flooded, although not nearly as badly as it used to in past decades because flood-control embankments and other measures have been taken over the years. Nashville's Mayor Karl Dean is speaking to cameras now. He said that 36,000 Nashville residents are without power, actually a lower figure than earlier today. Nashville rescue crews have done more than 600 water rescues. The chief of the city's emergency services said that waters are starting to recede and that the US Army Corps of Engineers has said that the Cumberland river should not reach emergency flood stage of 48 feet above normal although it will approach that level. Update: news announcers said that the water level is already at 45 feet.

Nashville and Williamson County, directly south, have been very hard hit. The Franklin neighborhood where my family and I lived for 12 years has been flooded in part. Below is a photo of one street away from our old address:

The unidentified lady in the pic is standing in the middle of a median of a four-lane, divided parkway. The white strip running right to left behind her back is the top of a white-painted rail fence. To the picture's right about 150 yards runs the Harpeth River, whence comes these waters.

Downtown Franklin is flooded by the Harpeth River, too:

The Tennessean has posted that 20 homes in my old neighborhood have been evacuated by authorities with more expected to be vacated. Here is a video from the paper's site:

I posted yesterday about severe flooding over I-24 in Nashville. Here is the aftermath. All this debris was washed onto the interstate by the waters, smashing into the cars and trucks trapped on the road already.

Some people found themselves in real trouble. I don't know where this couple was trapped or the outcome. Update: The Tennessean identifies them as two high-school-age teens. They are atop the guy's jeep, trying to keep from being swept away.

Some other photos from Nashville and environs.

A golf course in Williamson County:

The white thing hovering just above the water is the flag of a pin on a golf course's green.

A small bridge across the Harpeth River in Franklin.

Here's a Twitter pic of the Cumberland from a condo overlooking.

Enclave Nashville blog has more photos.

Michael Silence's site has a dramatic photo of I-24's flood.

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