This photo was taken from a window in my home as we watch the flood waters continue to rise even as I type. Over 14 inches of rain in 48 hours transformed our city into a disaster area and prompted a declared state of emergency.
To put this into stark perspective:
– The most rain ever to fall in a 48 hour period previously was 6.5 inches.
– This is May 2nd and we have already set a record for the most rain ever in the entire month of May.
– The Harpeth River that winds throughout Franklin has never in recorded history been at this flood stage.
A few thoughts from the most memorable birthday of my life.
My first indication that something was amiss – my wife and daughter rushing into the house rain-soaked, panicked and almost hysterical after a harrowing drive through the initial deluge and flood waters that appeared seemingly from nowhere. My wife then asked our friend Spence to drive his SUV to rescue my other daughter at work as I repeatedly placed towels against our french doors trying in vain to keep the rain water out of our house. Buckets are still everywhere catching dripping water.
Then tornado sirens eerily began wailing, and my dog Taffy and I sought refuge in an inner room. Tornado warnings and torrential rains then alternately threatened us the remainder of the day.
At around midnight last night, we realized the flood waters were rising faster than we could have dreamed. Our neighborhood banded together in an impromptu group and began to move furniture in water-filled homes to higher ground. My next door neighbor has lived in his home since 1940 and as we helped rescue valuables in rising waters, he states, “I’ve never seen anything like this in Franklin in 70 plus years of memory.
As we moved from endangered house to house helping out when we could, I felt a deep sense of camaraderie and community with my neighbors as everyone selflessly worked through the night. I’m very thankful for the Franklin “campus.”
After a few hours of fitful sleep, we awoke to endless torrential rains. As we watched Twitter updates and the televised news, a creeping realization of the historic tragedy unfolding here began to dawn. Watching a huge rock quarry 20-30 stories deep previously filled with equipment completely filled with water, 20 major roadways flooded in Franklin alone, seeing only one-way out of Franklin at all, all flights canceled into Nashville, watching a building sweep across Interstate 40 in flood waters that looked like a river, all Interstate highways closed, homes completely covered looking much like Katrina, seeing that nine people are dead, all seems overwhelming and surreal.
Darkness is now falling and only time will tell what tomorrow brings. Flood crest is not expected until 1pm tomorrow. May God help us. More real-time details at: http://twitter.com/randyelrod