My hometown recently got nailed by some serious rain. Serious as in 18 people dead, 18+ inches of water in 48 hours, the Cumberland River crested at ~50 feet, the Harpeth River was 44 feet at the highest last time I checked.
It's pretty out of control and from what I hear, doesn't seem to be getting much coverage (Zac and I don't have a tv but that's the word on the street). Entire neighborhoods are literally underwater and downtown Nashville, Franklin, Lebanon, Leiper's Fork, Clarksville, etc are pretty screwed. There's sewage in the water now too, which is all sorts of bad. I have friends and know of many people who lost their houses.
My parent's street is right along the Little Harpeth River and I think they made out best of anyone on that street. Boat rescues on their street and couches and appliances floating in the houses. Not to mention sewage too. Ugh. Not good. Mom and dad had a few inches in the basement and will have to tear up the carpet and such, but I'm grateful that's the only damage that they got - especially since two times in 20 years our house has been hit by a tornado.
Look at the links below for more information and photos - the flooding is really horrible.
Probably not much could have been done to prevent this, since the rainfall was just so extreme, but I do hope that the great importance of stormwater management, riverbank and wetland restoration, etc is emphasized and improved after this. And people need to realize that raping wetlands, destroying riparian zones and leaving no buffers is devastating for water quality (and human quality of life, in my opinion) and only makes disasters like these so much worse.
Buffer zones, trees, root systems, wetlands, among others - these things are CRUCIAL to flood and erosion control. I am obviously very upset about people's houses being lost and the devastation that has happened in Middle Tennessee, but I'm not too upset about the mall areas and golf courses, etc being flooded. This is what happens when all possible permeable soil is paved over. When that happens, there's not really much that can help when upwards of 14 inches of rain comes down. Bad news in Music City.
On a good note- my parents said that one of the otters that lives in the lake was playing in the yard the other day, loving the flood water. And one of the resident Great Blues was going to town, foraging on all the fish that were in the yard. That made me happy. We'll be there in a couple weeks, will be interesting to see the damage done. Nature Notes