Storm Chasing Fever - Blog - Cumberland River Flood - Nashville, Tennesse Recovers
Cumberland River Flood - Nashville, Tennesse Recovers
May 02, 2011
During May 1-2, 2010 heavy rainfall had fallen over Tennessee, Mississippi and Kentucky. The city of Nashville and other surrounding communities had been dealt with massive flooding, numerous deaths and millions of dollars lost. According to the National Weather Service, rainfall had surpassed over 13.00 inches for two days causing the Cumberland River to overlow its banks. A year later, I was able to take a trip to my second home where I call Nashville, Tennessee and witness how the city has recovered since the record flooding.
It was a couple of days after the flood, the Cumberland River had crested nearly 52 feet. This level was not reached since the late 1930's. Most if not all of downtown Nashville was flooded with damaging consequence. The Bridgestone Arena where my favorite hockey team, the Predators, was damaged and underwater. LP Field, home of the Tennessee Titans, was also flooded. The famous Opry Mills Mall was underwater and nearly destroyed. Adjacent to that facility was the historic Opryland Hotel was damaged severely and closed due to massive flooding in the Cascades section of the hotel. With all that said, things today seem like it has become back to the daily routine.
Downtown Nashville, Tennessee was vibrant as ever with locals and tourists attending sports bars, random musicians on the streets playing their instruments and fired up hockey fans yelling cheering on the Predators. The city was back and alive. You wouldn't even know there was a flood unless a local Nashville resident mentioned the Cumberland River had flooded most of downtown. I traveled across the city and there are still scars left a year later.
The famous Opry Mills Mall has been and still is closed to this day due to flooding damage. The vacant parking lot is somewhat surreal, because the amount of people the mall attracts is quite unique compared to the ones I'm accustomed back home in Wisconsin. I was told down there, that the mall is slated to be opened in the Spring of 2012. Across the way is the Grand Ole Opry House. This was too flooded and closed, but everything is back to normal here as it has been refurbished. The Opryland Hotel is one of the most famous landmarks in Nashville to be affected by the floods. I was amazed when I walked inside the Cascades area (where guests check in near valet parking and lobby) the sight of any flood is a distant memory. The rotating bar area is no longer there and has been replaced by a open seating with tables. The concierge is all redone with new carpet and painting.
The erosion scars along Cumberland River are visible on the banks and you can visualize how high the river was a year ago. They are still in the process of building a higher wall along the river to prevent the water reaching the Opry Mills Mall, Opryland Hotel and the Grand Ole Opry House. In addition, they are building bigger trenches for better drainage, I assume, if another Cumberland River flood does occur.
I was glad to see Nashville as vibrant as ever after the devastating floods. Hopefully, this won't happen to Tennessee for another couple hundred years and when it does, I pray the city will be spared with the improved flooding control.
Amateur video above shows severe flooding at the Opryland Hotel and Opry Mills Mall.