Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Mattox '03 blogs in her flooded hometown, Nashville

In photos and words, Denise Mattox '03 blogs today on the Nashville flood. Here's a photo; following are excerpts from her blog and more, including where to send donations.

A Joe's Crab Shack restaurant is underwater on Second Street in downtown
Nashville, two blocks up from the Cumberland River, which crested at 51.8
feet in that area, where 'flood level' is 40 feet. DENISE MATTOX photo

In case you haven’t heard, which is very possible given the lack of national news coverage, Middle Tennessee was hit hard by storms this weekend and much of the Nashville area is severely flooded.
I’ll start my account with an email I sent out to family late last night/early this morning:

I thought I’d take a moment to let everyone know that Craig and I are okay up here in Nashville! This has been one of the craziest weekends and experiences. Never in my life did I think I’d live through something like this flooding.

There has been storm predictions leading up to Saturday, but our biggest concern was the chance of tornadoes. In fact, Saturday, Craig and I were under a warning several times. At one point, they listed off streets in which rotation was being seen by Doppler radar… and all those streets were just blocks away. We had pillows and blankets in our guest bathroom tub, ready to take cover any second. To say I was beside myself scared would be an understatement.

As we watched on TV, the interstate that we take into town every day turned into a lake. A portable classroom literally floated down the interstate, and LaVergne (where we live) was declared a disaster area. We couldn’t have gotten out if we had to… all exits out of town were flooded. Luckily, we had food, electricity, and a sense of humor. Our foundation did get over saturated/flooded and our garage had about a quarter inch of water in it… but opening the garage door released that and we were fine.

The storms subsided, but we had more coming our way Sunday morning.

She goes on to describe the vigil that Sunday became for her and Craig, and to describe the damage and loss of lives in Nashville -- I strongly recommend going to her blog, Musician's Widow, and continuing to read.

Also, while she acknowledges that there are other important stories on the national agenda right now, she calls out the media for their lack of coverage on Nashville's crisis. A particularly painful example she cites: One newscast gave the floods the same amount of time as a lost cow in Indiana.

But there are bright points, too: Mattox told me via Twitter: "A call out to know if any Mid-TN Aggies needed help was replied with only more offers by Aggies to help other Aggies. Did my heart proud," she said.

"People can donate online by visiting www.nashvilleredcross.org or by sending a text message to 90999 to donate $10 to the American Red Cross relief for Nashville," Mattox says, and she gave me this link for people who want to help (most on this list are for locals, but a few addresses to donate are included).