Monday, May 03, 2010

Under Water

flood.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

84 comments:

  1. Wow. I have no words beyond that. Just wow. Hope all remains well for you.
    Hugs :)

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  2. So glad your family is safe, Anna. Isn't it crazy? So much lost this past couple of days. Thankfully we only had a bit of water in the garage and a flooded crawl space. I am so thankful. Here's to sunshine today!

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  3. Your post brought tears of joy and sadness to my eyes. My husband is a news junkie and so I avoid the news and had no idea of what was going on in your part of the world. It's amazing how just a look around can make you very thankful for the "small" challenges we have. Best wish and many prayers sent to you and those around you.

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  4. My 88 year old grandmother was evacuated from her home in Waverly, but I hear I-40 is still closed. Glad you guys are ok!
    PS - the link to the flood info isn't working.

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  5. Yes, glad that you are okay. I know a lot of people down there, and they are all in safe homes, if not pretty dry, so far!

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  6. So glad to hear that you are all ok!

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  7. Glad to hear that you & your family are all safe & fairly dry. God bless those that weren't so fortunate.

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  8. Lauren, fixed it! Glad your grandma is okay!

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  9. Wow!! So glad you and yours are safe! My parents were driving through that mess on their way back to Florida and had to stop to get a hotel. I'm so glad it's over for you guys--at least the rain--and will pray that things dry out soon.

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  10. Praise God you and your family are all safe and your home intact. Blessings.

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  11. Praying hard for your family, friends, and neighbors.

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  12. I'm glad you're all safe and sound!

    I got your book this weekend and I LOVE it. What a fabulous thing! I'm pregnant with my first and the timing could not be better!

    xo

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  13. Happy to hear that your family is safe & sound! Yes, many people will be needing lots of prayers.

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  14. Glad to hear your family is safe, but sad to hear of the loss of belongings & life for so many others. Praying for them:)

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  15. oh my. saw it on the news and feel for all of nashville. thank goodness for your safety and hoping it won't take but so long to dry out. bless your heart...

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  16. Glad you are ok. We have family in the Nashville area that texted us Sat night to let us know they were ok. So scary!

    Heather
    The Gift Closet
    www.thegiftcloset.blogspot.com

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  17. Glad to hear you are all ok. My aunt and uncle live in Franklin and my mom and brother are there visiting them now (they actually drove last night from New Orleans to Franklin but they made it ok - thank goodness!). Hope it stays sunny and dries everything out quickly!

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  18. We're just west of the Harpeth- just out of the flood plain, thank God, but I spent most of yesterday glued to the TV news. I think I was a little in shock. We used to live in Bellevue, and still have friends living there. Our church is there, as well. It really is stunning. Glad you and your family are okay.

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  19. We're just a little north of Little Rock and had some pretty damaging tornadoes, but no nearly as much water as you guys, ALthough I know Memphis got hit pretty hard, according to some friends who drove up there on Saturday. Really causes us to count our blessings... And I guess this means there are lots of opportunities to serve your neighbor now, right??

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  20. It's insane!!! I live downtown and everybody is acting mad. The river is up to 3rd avenue now! And the sun...just makes it all so surreal.

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  21. I'm so glad your beautiful family is safe. Your post nearly made me cry. Hope the worst is over for everybody else as well. <3

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  22. What life throws at us! I am so glad to hear you are all safe x

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  23. Wow, what a harrowing weekend! It always hurts to see such devastation. It's ironic that I am currently reading a book called The Children's Blizzard. It talks about the terrible weather the pioneers experienced in the Dakota Territory in the late 1800's. Laura Ingall's Wilder wrote about the Snow Winter, one of the worst, in her book The Long Winter. It amazes me how folks manage to pick themselves up after so much hardship and continue on.

    Glad to hear the sun is out today!

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  24. Praying for you all in TN... I'm glad to hear you didn't have severe flood damage.

    God's Peace,
    Melissa

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  25. thank the gods you are safe...i'm praying for everyone over there...

    xoxo

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  26. wow. glad you and your family are safe!!

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  27. That's quite the adventure! Glad to hear that it is working out for you.

    We went through something similar 5years ago and are still recovering from it. But it took a month of rain to get us there, it's pretty dry here normally!

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  28. Glad all worked out well for all of you. I hope and pray for the others. Keep us updated.

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  29. Oh my - I had no idea. I'm so sorry for the losses experienced in and around your community, and thankful your family is safe. I hope for healing for all who were affected.

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  30. Dude, I had no idea any of this was going on... so glad you all are safe...

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  31. Charlene4:20 PM

    So glad that you all are safe! We will be getting that rain today here in NC.

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  32. Bless you all, too... hang in there. Know that the thoughts of so many are with all of you who have suffered losses in this horrible flood. We all have to help each other in these rough times.

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  33. It's been horrible. I am so thankful that Rutherford Cty didn't suffer as much , but my heart goes out to all the people who have lost homes, and lives. So sad. We just weren't prepared for this. How could we be? this was such a freak thing.

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  34. praying for you all - we have had to evacuate from several hurricanes and this stuff is scary, hard and not fun!

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  35. I have been quietly sending you protective prayers..well, the whole area. But I always think of you and the family. I am glad you are all well and the house is dry enough. Here we have hurricanes and power outages. Each year I collect a little more to care for us and the older ones near us. Gas and water jugs etc. I had to put ice packs under my sheltie it was so hot during Katrina. Take care and hug everyone. I was actually going to ask how to attach the plyboard walls for your shows. They look great. Uh! Mine would fall over. XOXOX

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  36. Isn't it something how quickly we come to realize we do have so much to be thankful for. Unfortunate events (to put it mildly) help us focus on what is truly important. Happy to hear you and yours are safe and well. A harrowing couple of days for all of you! Be well.

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  37. I am glad you and yours are all safe.

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  38. ohmi! i was on the phone with my sis in Memphis and they got tornado warnings, scary! glad you are safe.

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  39. Wow, so glad to hear you are okay! I am so excited to see your booth at Quilt Market in a couple of weeks!

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  40. Glad you are all safe and I'm praying too for all those who have lost so much, especially those who lost family and friends.

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  41. I'm glad you're okay, wet dog smell notwithstanding! Nature is the most extraordinary thing, isn't it?!

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  42. Glad you are all safe. We will keep praying for you and your neighbors.

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  43. Oh it is so sad to have the flooding. Iowa has seen its share, and we totally understand. Stay safe!

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  44. Cindy G10:45 PM

    AnnaMaria, I am so thank grateful and heartbroken at the same time. We live in Franklin, we had lots of water in the yard, but none in the house. I did make it to Natalie Chanins class (almost tangled with a hydro-planing car on the way there) and it took me hours to get back to my house after the class. Today my almost 16 year old daughter helped all day at a house that had flooded in Cottonwood, helping to clean out the mud and funk. She tore out floors, hauled out saturated carpet and insulation. I'm proud of her. This morning she said, there's got to be somebody that could use my help. I was happy to tidy my house this morning. My thoughts and prayers are with all impacted by the flooding. They are going to need alot of help to help recover.

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  45. I'm glad to hear that you and yours are safe and well.

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  46. Anna, thank you for such a personal story of someone right there. Sending hugs your way and to your neighbors:)

    I was just hearing of a public radio reporter being chastised for showing to much biased emotion (in this case the Haiti quake). But it is these real people accounts that connect us all that are far away and help us to all cue in emotionally to one another as human beings.

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  47. So glad you and your family are okay. I'm in Franklin, and we are very fortunate to be dry and with power. I feel guilty that we are so lucky when so many around here have lost so much and are hurting.

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  48. Our house is high enough not to worry about the flooding, but then I have not had the nerve to look under the house into the crawl space. Most of my friends and family are OK although some have water damage or cars under water, but one friend had to leave her home and has not been allowed back. She has only the clothes on her back and her laptop and is worried about her house. I am already looking around for stuff to give her in case she needs it. The Symphony took a hit with water in the lower levels and part of floor level seating. Instruments have been lost, including both beautiful Grand Pianos. And it is not just the Nashville area, the entire middle Tennessee area, nearly half the state, is affected and the Memphis area suffered damage too. Those who do not have flood insurance will suffer total loss as the damage will not be covered. I am glad to hear that you and your family are safe.

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  49. I want to thank you for posting that story. We're in the military and awaiting orders. I've never lived in a place with floods or tornadoes, so this makes it real for me. And I may be living in that situation a year from now.

    Thank God you all are fine, and your home is livable. And I'll pray that everyone else is safe.

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  50. Glad all is well. Being flooded out is no fun at all - it happened to me once, only about 18" of water but enough to mess up everything, and it took weeks to get my little cottage dry.

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  51. Wow. So glad you and yours are all OK and I hope the sunshine stays out for you! Hugs from the UK to you all. Justine x

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  52. My heart goes out to you all and those in the affected areas. Life is so unpredictable and weather so brutal at times. HUGS

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  53. WE are keeping all of you in our prayers . I used to live there and I can't believe the pictures . We have been thru many a hurricane and tornado here in Tallahassee ,
    fla. it is scary and it is good to keep calm . Take care and God bless you all.xxoo

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  54. Thank you. You made a news story in to a personal story. I am so glad your family safe, and my thoughts and prayers will include your neighbors, and all people struggling or devastated by disasters.

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  55. It is really chilling what can happen in a couple of days. My heart goes out to the people losing their homes or more. Thank God you are safe.

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  56. I live in Cannon Co. (southeast of Nashville) and thankfully we escaped the worst of it and had no flooding in the area. I thought of you and wondered if you were dry:) The loss of life and property is just so sad. I'm glad you and your family are safe.

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  57. I am so relieved that you and your family are fine. (is is odd that I think of you as a friend?) Nashville is my home, my brother is still there and I have been so worried for everyone. Thanks for the update!

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  58. I feel like I spent the last three days on another planet. So glad to read your story and that everything is fine there. My story and pics..

    http://www.thecountrychiccottage.net/2010/05/wild-weather-weekendbut-we-are-safe.html

    We are safe and that is all that matters! HUGS!!

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  59. I am glad that you are all safe and hope you don't get any more weather like that this year! I'll have to check with my family in Oklahoma to see if they're having many tornadoes yet there.

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  60. I am glad that your family is safe! Take care the next time and be careful!

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  61. So glad to hear you made it through the storms with minimal damage. My parents, who live in Sylvan Park, had about 5' or more of water in their basement and were nervous that it would hit their electrical panel (they live in an old house with no concrete slab and a large, but unfortunately permeable, dirt basement level). Thankfully the water stopped at the basement, but it was a close call. Not everyone in Nashville was so fortunate. :( So, my prayers go out to those who suffered greater damage and loss. Who could have expected such an outcome?

    Thank God for the sun!

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  62. my brother & his wife live on the naval base in millington & lost everything, including 1 car. such devastating loss for so many people.

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  63. I'm so glad to hear you are all okay. When I heard about the flooding, I thought of you and your family, whom I've come to sort-of-know since my hours upon hours of reading your blog (I started with your first entry and am working my way through them all). I found your blog last week and love it! Thank you for sharing your update with us all.

    Melanie

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  64. Thinking of you all, so glad your are all safe.

    Rita

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