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Alice Sullivan

I Survived the Flood of 2010

May 6, 2010

I Survived the Flood of 2010

Flooding began on Saturday. Nashville is still partially under water and it’s Thursday. Amazingly, we haven’t gotten much national TV coverage but I’ve heard several times that it’s because there’s not much looting, riots, car bombs, oil spills, or endangered pandas clinging to rooftops. Perhaps the zoo can lend out a few pandas. Then we might get more help.

While I’m still shocked at the destruction, I’ve very grateful that my own home wasn’t greatly damaged. I may have lost my heating unit, but at least I still have a house, a car, and my family is fine. My heart goes out to those who lost homes, cars, loved ones, and hope.

On the bright side, and yes, there is one, I have never been more proud to call Nashville home. People are helping clean up, charities are giving, and my church, Oasis church in Nashville, has sent groups out all week to Bellevue, Franklin, and many places in between to assist the homeowners.

Tuesday we were in Bellevue ripping out carpet and flooring for a newlywed couple in our church. These young musicians lost their car and everything that was in the first floor of their home, including their musical instruments and equipment. It’s one thing to lose clothes and furniture, but another to lose your livelihood. Amazingly, I didn’t see a single tear. They were probably still in shock but they were amazingly strong.

Yesterday I went with a group to the Cottonwood subdivision in Franklin, TN, and we helped several families haul trash, remove flooring and drywall, and sort belongings. They were all very grateful and even more surprised that people would walk into their homes and offer to help with no strings attached.

Today I’m a little sore and tired but very thankful for what I have, including my wet basement. As Nashvillians (and the world) look back to Katrina, we realized early on that it would not be a quick fix. Homes and neighborhoods would not be rebuilt in a few months. Families would be displaced for years. And help, although abundant at first, would slow as some other catastrophe caught the media’s attention. We at least acknowledge that this will take many months and years to rebuild all that’s been lost.

Nashvillians have already made great strides in this first week. It will be a long process. Landmarks and historical buildings may be irreparably damaged. Entire subdivisions are under water. Very few people had flood insurance. And as of this morning, the death toll is 21, with more expected as the waters recede. But we’re strong people. We’ve got big hearts and we’re dedicated to our families, communities, and city.

Hopefully in several years, Music City will be better than it ever was. But until then, it’s each person’s responsibility to do what they can to make that happen. Volunteering is not reserved for the young, retired, or unemployed. If you can give money, give. If you can give food and supplies, give. If you can give time, give. And we’ll take all the prayers, thoughts, wishes, and hugs you can send our way. But please, no tears. We have enough water.


P.S. If you’re sniffling now and want to read something a bit more lighthearted, here’s a guest post I wrote on Saturday (before I knew how bad it would get).

3 Responses

  1. Bless your heart. « REDDALLOVER says:

    [...] My friend, writer and editor Alice Sullivan shared this. [...]

    May 6th, 2010 at 9:36 pm
  2. Cory Launer says:

    you are very talented.

    January 17th, 2011 at 4:05 am
  3. Audie Barrowman says:

    I loved your blog post. Will read on…

    February 23rd, 2011 at 6:40 am

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