Fear in Writing: Death in Nashville

Today in Literary History

Today in Literary History...December 14, 1907: Rudyard Kipling receives the Nobel prize for literature, the first English-language writer to do so.ud

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Death in Nashville

An event of near-unprecedented proportions hit Nashville over the weekend.  Floods.

The Cumberland River, one of the major influences in the founding of the city, overflowed its banks.  Storms dumped 13 inches of rain on the city--that's nearly double the record set in 1979, according to MSNBC.  And that record was set during a hurricane!

Storms, including tornados, killed at least 16 people in Tennessee, and 10 others in Kentucky and Mississippi.  MSNBC also reports homeowners were rescued from rooftops and a pregnant woman was airlifted from a flooded interstate.  Hundreds of homes were lost and many historic buildings were awash--including the Ryman and the downtown historic district.

At last check, The Tennesseean had the Cumberland River cresting at 52.5 feet--that's 12.5 feet above flood stage.

There are many videos on YouTube, but I thought this was the most telling.

There is no one to be angry with.  There is no office to storm or figurehead to crucify.  Just a simple act of nature that is awesome in its power. 

We should feel humbled.  And grateful that we are not one of those 26.

For more photos of the damage and rescues, click here.


  1. Nature does have a way of reminding us who has the control. You are quick right, we all should be humbled and grateful that we're not one of the 26. It's a reminder of just how fast things can change.

    Thoughts in Progress

  2. Wow, that's amazing footage. I'm glad you're okay and I'm sorry for the families of the 26. I hadn't heard of the tragedy.

    CD (formerly ann)

  3. Wow. Poor people :( This world is getting crazy; the weather chaotic. It's already stinking hot here in Greece and it's only mid Spring!

    Don’t miss out on my contest!

  4. Mason- A powerful thing. Change can be wonderful and scary.

    CD- I'm not actually in Nashville, just from there, and writing books set there. My parents and in-laws ARE there, though, and they are fine.

    TAA- You have your own problems in Greece, and they're a bit more man-made, I'm afraid. But the world IS crazy!

  5. Great Michelle. I'll give you an extra entry for tweeting. I hate twitter so I didn't include it. But thanks! Re Greek problems being man-made - hell yeah. They're idiots. They can't even put their rubbish in the bit when they're standing right next to it!

  6. I've been following this - it's terrible.

  7. After Fran and Floyd, I understand the destruction.

  8. My sister lives in Nashville. I have been monitoring this news closely and keeping in constant contact with her. It is very worrying.

  9. I saw pictures yesterday - amazing and terrible at the same time. My town fronts a river which has a habit of flooding every 50 years or so and it is well overdue. Luckily, my house is up a hill - but I have friends who live in the flood plains. There are dykes in place, but every year we hear people say they're not high enough. Luckily this year, the snowfall was much lower than normal because it's the melt WAY up river that tends to cause the river to overflow.

  10. It is messed up. I like your final paragraph. I think someone should say that to the hundreds of people claiming money back after the volcano in iceland. its an act of nature - nobody is to blame.

  11. Nature is absolutely terrifying in all of its wrath and beauty. I think it's humbling to remember that we are so small and helpless in the face of natural disaster!

  12. We've been watching the news up here and it's incredibly devastating. So sad, so hard.