There are some weeks where you just want to have a do over. The last seven days in Nashville fall into that category. As much as I tried, there was no way I could focus on putting together the 2010/2011 Nashville Predators roster/draft/free agent preview. Last Monday, the Chicago Blackhawks eliminated the Predators in a series many thought Nashville let slip away. For long time season ticket holders and fans, it represented the fifth straight first round elimination. Personally, my emotions ran the gambit from frustration, to anger, to pride in a team that had accomplished so much with so little.
The events of the last 72 hours, however, made everything that happens in sports insignificant. I have lived through three hurricanes and tornados. I have seen the destruction, the realization that everything is lost, and the fear of the unknown. The last 72 hours in Nashville captured all of those emotions and thoughts. I have seen the pictures of flooding that in many areas dropped over 20 inches of rain. I have seen the video’s of entire buildings floating down the road. While I am thankful my house escaped damage, I cannot help but feel for those whose suffering has just begun.
Unfortunately, an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a poorly made bomb in New York City, and the constant comedy of Washington DC all contributed to shield the world from the realities of our disaster. Thus, I want to leave my readers with a few images to paint a picture of the suffering and devastation that our proud city and state are battling to overcome.
- 15 deaths have been reported statewide, with 10 of those coming in Nashville.
- 1000’s of people are displaced and homeless.
- Over 40,000 homes are without power throughout the state.
- Southwest Airlines canceled all flights to and from Nashville, and 100’s of other flights were canceled thus stranding travelers in hotels.
- The Gaylord Convention Center and Hotel had to evacuate over 1500 customers and employees via buses to local gymnasiums.
- Underground parking lots are flooded and can’t be pumped out for fear of causing additional flooding to the areas around them.
- The Bridgestone Arena is flooded and the locker rooms have about 6 inches of water standing in them.
- LP Field, where the Titans play, is 6 feet under water.
- Levees are leaking and threatening to break.
- The Cumberland River, which runs through downtown Nashville, is 12 feet above the flood line resulting in the evacuation of the lower three blocks of the city.
- Entire neighborhoods are underwater.
- One of the two water filtration plants is off line due to flooding and efforts are being focused on protecting the other plant from shutting down, thus causing water to be shut off for the entire city. Everyone has been asked to conserve and ration there use of water.
- The threat of additional levees breaking caused the evacuation of the Metro Center north of Nashville. The Army Corps of Engineers are onsite trying to prevent water levels from rising.
- The Country Music Hall of Fame and the Schermerhorn Symphony Center have both suffered extensive flooding in their basement levels.
- Prisons are being evacuated and inmates transferred to other locations
- Schools in five counties in the Metro Nashville area are closed until further notice.
I could go and on and still not capture the severity of the situation. However, not all is lost. The fine citizens of Nashville have banded together to support their fellow neighbors. There are no stories of wide spread looting and vandalism. Our city and state leaders have rolled up their sleeves to support us in our time of need. Small businesses, corporations, and non-profit organizations have led the way in supporting their city. It will take months to determine the cost of damage and lost revenue, and years to recover, but the dedication and pride of the great citizens of Middle Tennessee will carry us through. Nashville is down, but not out. We will come back stronger and better than before. Moreover, when the puck drops for the start of the 2010/2011 hockey season, the Nashville Predators and their fans will remember these trying days and the challenges we overcome when we all worked together.
As you look at the following images, I ask that you remember those who have lost loved ones, their homes, and their livelihood.
About the Author
Written by Mark Jasper