Ron Hogan at Popular Fidelity:
In one of the most shamefully underreported stories so far, the fatal flooding in Nashville, Tennessee, continues to get worse as the river approaches its crest. The entirety of downtown Nashville had to be evacuated, including 1500 people from the Opryland Hotel. The flood waters from the storm system have caused the deaths of 17 people in Tennessee alone, plus more in Mississippi and Kentucky (fortunately there’s been little flooding in Louisville, just storms). The entire Middle Tennessee area is paralyzed by massive flooding, mud slides, and general destruction. It’s awful. The best coverage, though, is the local coverage, as compiled by Nashvillest.
When riots for democracy hit Iran, Twitter was an invaluable resource. Over the last day, as I struggled to slay the technical demons besieging PopFi, Twitter was the most useful resource for all my friends and family in Music City to keep abreast of the situation in real time. Fortunately, they’ve all made it out safely, though I had a couple of sleepless nights in the process.
Jen Doll at Village Voice:
Add to our End Times Watch record rains and 50-feet-high-and-rising waters in Tennessee. The flooding has led to evacuations of downtown Nashville, including some-1,500 guests at the Gaylord Opryland Resort, and caused 21 or more deaths in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Mississippi.
The Cumberland River was expected to crest Monday afternoon at more than 11 feet above flood stage, and officials worried they may find more bodies in the rising floodwaters, reports the AP.
Electric power has been cut off to about 14,000 customers, and one of the city’s two sewage treatment plants has been submerged, requiring residents to minimize water use except for drinking and cooking. One shopping center employed boats to do rescues in the parking lot yesterday.
Many homes were flooded to the rooftops, and although the rain has ended, officials anticipate weeks of cleanup.
“The news accounts of the Cumberland River rising today, with such bright blue skies, are quite disturbing,” reports one Nashville resident. “We’re watching on television as the huge Opryland mall and convention center (plus the Grand Ole Opry house) become flooded by the rising river. It’s that eerie Katrina-like sunny day after the storm where the rising waters cause even bigger problems.”
Claire O’Neill at NPR:
On Facebook I’ve seen an outpouring of photos from friends and family, and it really is unbelievable. Weekend storms poured more than 13 inches of rain in two days, resulting in a swift rise in the Cumberland River. By Tuesday, the death toll has reached 18 in Tennessee.
People have lost cars and homes – and Nashvillians watched waters inundate their beloved Grand Ole Opry. Fortunately, the Ryman Auditorium and the Station Inn were not flooded. But as Nashvillian RJ Witherell wrote on Morning Edition‘s Facebook page, “Doubt Bob Dylan ever thought Nashville’s Skyline would look like this.”
Randy Lewis at The LA Times:
I just rang up country musician Marty Stuart, one of the mainstays of the Grand Ole Opry, to find out how bad the flooding in Nashville is to the Opry’s home of the last 36 years. He had two words: “It’s biblical.”
An Opry member since 1992, Stuart said he hasn’t been through the facility yet — “The river just crested last night” — but was told by Opry officials that water is chest deep. “They’ve just been through it in a canoe. I think that tells you all you need to know.”
“It’s a profound sense of loss,” said Stuart, who took over the dressing room assigned to Porter Wagoner after the longtime Opry star died in 2007. He said he doesn’t have high hopes for recovering a rhinestone-bedecked tapestry he kept in that dressing room. The tapestry was fashioned out of what was to have been a new Nudie Cohn-style suit that was being made for Wagoner when he died.
“There was plenty of artwork, lyrics, artifacts, Nudie paraphernalia, Nudie boots and belts — we will test the power of the rhinestone against the mighty waters,” Stuart said.
“We’ve all been affected by it,” singer and songwriter Dierks Bentley told the Associated Press on Tuesday, after canceling performances over the weekend to deal with less-serious flooding at his own house. “There’s devastation all over the city. But to see the Grand Ole Opry affected, that just really hit home for me, even more than having water in my house.”
The Grand Ole Opry show itself, however, “will go on,” Stuart said. Tuesday night’s performance is being shifted to Nashville’s War Memorial Auditorium, a former home of the Opry, and on the weekend, it will move to its historic home at the Ryman Auditorium in downtown Nashville, where the show originated for decades before the current Opry House opened in 1974.
Nashville is struggling to recover from a massive flood that has inundated historic areas of that historic city. A record-breaking storm caused flash floods, forcing residents to flee the city as quickly as possible. They are now returning to survey the devastation and look for survivors. So far there have been at least 29 fatalities. Read more on the flood here.
One YouTube user made a montage of photos of the destruction throughout the city, overlaying the Johnny Cash song “Five Feet High and and Rising” on the montage. It’s quite moving.
UPDATE: Noel Sheppard at Newsbusters
Andrew Romano at Newsweek