Monday, May 03, 2010
The weekend began with being glad that I wasn't going to have to water the garden. So much of Nashville is under water after just two days of rain. One headline after another. Everything from the loss of life to Naomi Judd's buffalo running free in Leiper's Fork. This town and the surrounding towns have just been taken over by water and more water.
After planning a Saturday out shopping (and also a visit to see Natalie signing her book at Textile), in no time we rather found ourselves quickly hoisting my freshly painted Quilt Market booth walls off the garage floor and up onto a dry spot. Even though we are fortunate to have a home on a pretty high hill, we did spend a good part of the weekend getting water out of our basement, garage and crawl space. We have a pretty dry house, but maybe once or so a year, if it rains really badly, the drains become overwhelmed and the runoff from the backyard can't be absorbed fast enough. Nicolas, who opted for a basement bedroom a few months ago, spent the last two nights upstairs with us, due to a few inches of water on his floor. Jeff went to Home Depot to look for a pump of some sort once our downstairs began taking on water. He reported the place to be a zoo, so many people desperate to dry out their homes, and was able to come home with a large capacity shop-vac and 3 condensation pumps. The sump pumps were all sold out. I vacuumed as much water from Nicolas' floor as I could. Jeff built a little makeshift wooden device to hold the three pumps in a series and submerged them in the crawl space rain water. He continued to monitor the crawl space all evening and successfully got water pumped out of it at about 2 gallons a minute. Pretty slow, but it kept it under control. I was really amazed at just how much water had come down in one day. Houses just aren't built for this.
Slowly throughout the day we were getting news of power outages, water shortages, and flooding much worse than ours. At about 8pm we finally took all the kids out for pizza at Mafiaoza's after being pinned in all day. All the televisions in the restaurant were turned to local news channels covering the storms and while we couldn't hear them, we were shocked to see video of I-24 being covered in water, cars submerged, homes and buildings being swept off their foundations. Then the heartbreaking news of people dying after being swept away by flood water. Suddenly our basement water situation seemed much less frustrating. I covered Roman's head with a pizza box to keep him dry as we all dashed to the car with full bellies. Feeling too fortunate.
Then about 5am Sunday morning, the emergency siren in our community began sounding to warn of tornadoes. I sat up in bed and prayed Nicolas' room was still dry because that's our tornado hunkering room. Before I could even get out of bed Nicolas was standing there in our doorway in the dark telling us to get up. I went with him to turn on the news to figure out how close the system was. It was eerie still outside. No rain. Once we saw circular winds on the news doppler coming ever nearer to our neighborhood, we gathered the baby (who had already woken early, most likely from the siren) and woke the rest of the children to go downstairs. It's always Isabela who thinks to get Leo and Lemon. So there we were: our babies, our bird, our dog all packed into a thankfully dry basement bedroom. And I was glad and content and thankful. But the wet dog smelled like a wet dog. And the kids all feared and complained that daddy wouldn't stay in the room with us during the warning like they always fear and complain. Jeff instead was walking around under the house, and in the attic, surveying the situation like he always does. We were able to come up after the warning was over to an intact home. Like we always do.
Later in the morning I heard that some water mains had broken and that our water supply could be compromised, so I filled a few large containers with filtered water just in case. Then I thought back to everyone's last bath and figured they were clean enough so we can skip any baths. We made cookies. We made soup. We made blanket forts in the playroom. We called and checked in on friends and family throughout the day. We watched neighbors being rescued by boat from their homes on television. We went to rescue one of Nicolas' friends whose home was filled up to the top few basement steps with water, boxes of belongings floating around, and parts of their ceiling falling in. On the way to his house we took a small detour to view our almost daily walking path that follows the Little Harpeth, and we were stopped about a 1/2 block away because the Little Harpeth was not so little anymore, and overtook the yards surrounding it. It made my heart hurt, and I thought about one of the houses there that I know was just moved into. Oh. Can you imagine just moving in? And then this? God bless them. And all.
The sun is shining this morning like nothing ever happened and all is glistening. Rugs are drying on the driveway and 5 times as many roses are blooming as Friday evening when I watered the garden.
Hoping you are safe, and thanks to many of you for the "just checking" emails. xoxo, Anna