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Flooded with memories, Hurricane Katrina and Nashville flood | Pamdemonium
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Flooded with memories

May 4, 2010

I think Jim Cantore is stalking me.

Seriously. He waits a few years after I’ve moved and then shows up, in all his Weather Channel stud-man glory, standing in my new flooded city.

Dude, you are a great reporter and a friend of friends of mine but give it a rest. The tornado siren that went off the first night I spent in Nashville, in November 2005, was a nice touch, but I did think that above sea level and far from the Cumberland River, we were safe.

I suppose it is ironic that our house in New Orleans did not flood after Hurricane Katrina but our gravel pseudo-basement in Nashville took on 1½ feet of water Sunday and water pouring in under the door woke one of our tenants from his morning slumber.

We were, again, more fortunate than many. A friend of Shaun’s who rents in a different neighborhood had to break a window, wake up his roommates and scamper to the roof to wait for rescue. A sound company that Shaun worked for when we first moved here to Middle Tennessee was under water, along with all of its equipment. A colleague had two feet of water throughout his home but left on a planned trip anyway. He may be surprised the variety and color of mold that greet him when he returns.

Scores of people are out of their homes; the city’s robust tourist economy is in jeopardy; Nashville may run out of safe drinking water by week’s end.

It all sounds and feels very familiar – a bit too familiar for those that relocated from greater New Orleans after Katrina. I avoided the television Sunday until Shaun called and needed help getting home from Memphis, a three-hour drive that took seven hours with a detour north to Clarksville. The images blurred together, across cities, states, times and disasters. I switched channels and watched a Stanley Cup playoff game.

I can report our able tenant is taking care of his place and Shaun really is MacGyver. While in Clarksville, he bought a $20 bilge pump, then Monday morning hooked it up to a 12-volt vehicle battery, clamped a garden hose on it and the water traveled up the stairs, down the hallway, out the front door, and back into the ground. It was a very long hose.

The basement is dry and we may yet save the freezer and hot water heater. My overdue project is for a client that flooded and remained closed Tuesday. It will be finished tonight, eventually.

After Katrina, I vowed never again to say “what doesn’t kill you makes you strong.” I stuck to it. Now I guess I’ll erase “God willing and the creek (or Cumberland River or basement) don’t rise” out of my vocabulary.

I honestly don’t think I’ve ever used that phrase. Now I never will.

Check out The Tennessean slideshows and pix.

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{ 1 comment }

Brian May 16, 2010 at 3:06 pm

i felt for you both during this recent ordeal. glad to know that you are okay.

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