Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Franklin Floods

Last week the weather forecast predicted a stormy weekend, much like what had occurred the weekend before ... severe storms and tornadoes, and that's pretty typical for our area. But, what actually did happen surprised pretty much everyone. Franklin, Nashville, and most of Middle Tennessee experienced what the news announcers quickly began to call "an historic flood." And indeed it was!

The rain began to fall Friday during the night and continued almost non-stop until Sunday night. There were breaks in the action, and light rain, too; but for a lot of the time it was torrential, monsoon-like rain. And, oh, the lightening was incredible. These were fierce, intense storms. By mid-morning Saturday we had the first of 3 floodings here, and each time the water rose in literally minutes. I've heard of flash floods, but had never seen one and certainly never expected to see one right here at home. I mean, really, the creek is a dry creek!
In these first two photos the creek (on the left side of the picture, out of sight) has jumped the banks and quickly makes a river that runs across our front fields. It was impressive to say the least!In the third photo, the creek - which is just on the other side of the tree line, is flowing full force through the fence. It was amazing that the fence wasn't compromised considering the large debris that was carried, and caught, through it.Here we are looking across our field to our neighbors driveway entrance. The big brick entry is just visible above the water. From our driveway, and continuing down about a quarter-mile, the road was a river cascading down the embankment on the other side. We would have never imagined the road would - or could - ever flood, but it did!While we watched this happen three different times over the weekend, we also watched on TV what was happening in the rest of Middle Tennessee. On Facebook, we got reports from people throughout the area about what was happening in their neighborhoods. The stories were just unbelievable. Any place that was low or near a creek or river flooded. Downtown Franklin was almost completely surrounded by water with only one road left passable into and out of town. All three interstates which run through Nashville were closed due to flooding. One of the sections of I-65 that was closed included our own exit which was underwater. On Saturday afternoon as we watched an I -24 traffic cam on TV, a portable building came floating down the interstate, crashed into a semi-truck and disintegrated. Vehicles were abandoned everywhere because the waters rose so quickly - there was hardly any time to get out of cars or houses. That day, there were 600 water rescues in Nashville alone. The May 1st Flood was on us before anyone knew what was happening, and we still had 24 hours of rain yet to come.

One weather site I read said that Franklin had 17.63 inches of rain on Saturday and 8.76 inches on Sunday. Other sites say anywhere from 12 - 18" for the weekend. Our neighbors measured 15" in their rain gauge, but said it overflowed significantly before they were able to check it each time. Regardless, it was a heck of a lot of rain. Oh, and did I mention we had a Yard Sale on Saturday? It became a carport sale, and actually did very well. Yard Sale shoppers are an intrepid group.

I have more High Meadow flood and aftermath photos yet to blog about, as well as impressive photos I've found on-line, and you can see those in the next posting. Meanwhile, please pray for folks here who've lost so much and are still in the throes of suffering, and if you feel so moved, please donate through the Red Cross to recovery efforts that will be going on for some time to come.

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