Flooding Rains in Mississippi Valley Swamps Nashville and Lexington

Spring: One of the most beautiful and one of the most violent seasons is living up to it billing  as torrential rains is flooding  cities in Kentucky and Tennessee.

The hardest hit area is the country music capital of the world  Nashville, Tennessee.  17 people died due to the flooding in Tennessee. 10 in Nashville/Davidson County alone.

Over the weekend a storm dumped more than 13 inches in Nashville International Airport; a record. The Cumberland River has swollen over flowing its banks flooding  Downtown Nashville.

The Cumberland River expected to crest Monday night but would not begin receding until Tuesday, according to the Nashville mayor’s office. First to Fifth avenues were closed Monday evening downtown Nashville.

The Cumberland flooded quickly after the weekend’s storms dumped more than 13 inches of rain in Nashville over two days. That nearly doubled the previous record of 6.68 inches of rain that fell in the wake of Hurricane Fredrick in 1979.

The Weather Service says the Cumberland River should crest Monday night:

The National Weather Service advised that major flooding is expected to continue along Cumberland River on Monday followed by a gradual decrease in water levels, and that homes in the area should be evacuated.

Floodwater continued to rise Monday midday in downtown Nashville, shutting down most of lower Broadway including First and Second avenues. The Schermerhorn Symphony Center and numerous buildings downtown near the Cumberland River had lower-level flooding.

Nashville’s country music landmark The Grand Ole Opry House was also flooded.

Heartland Christian Towers residents are being moved to hotels or picked up by family members. The retirement home is on Fernbrook Lane off McGavock Pike in Nashville.

Nashville T.V. station WSMV-TV helicopter “Air 4″ flew over a flooded home along Pennington Bend that was engulfed in flames at 10:30 a.m.”We are still in rescue mode at this time,” said Kim Lawson, deputy chief of the Nashville Fire Department, during a Monday afternoon press conference.

Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen called it an “unprecedented rain event.”

This is a record-breaking month for rain in Nashville and Tennessee.

More than 7 inches of rain fell on Saturday and 13.53 inches had fallen by 8:30 p.m. Sunday, a new two-day record. Just two days into the month, this is already the wettest May in Nashville’s recorded history and fifth wettest month in city history.

Nashville’s Mayor says is advising residents on water usage:

Mayor Karl Dean’s office is asking Nashville residents to conserve water. Emergency officials are in the process Sunday night to evacuate parts of MetroCenter and residents and businesses near Mainstream Drive.

There were evacuations through Middle Tennessee:

The guests at Opryland Hotel on Sunday were moved to McGavock High School and other hotels. Gaylord Entertainment, the owners of the hotel, confirmed that there was 6 feet of standing water inside the hotel.

German tourists Gerdi and Kurt Bauerle, both 70, said resort staff suddenly started rushing people out of the area Sunday night.”We had just finished eating and suddenly they said: ‘Go! Go! Go!”‘ said Gerdi Bauerle, who was visiting from Munich. “And we said, ‘Wait, we haven’t even paid.”‘

Lakeshore The Meadows nursing home residents were rescued Sunday evening along Coley Davis Road in west Nashville.

Six hundred people had to be rescued from flood waters this weekend in Nashville.Both Lipscomb University and the Bellevue Jewish Community Center were opened to shelter flood victims but were soon at capacity.

Bellevue Middle School opened to shelter victims, but they needed more cots, blankets and pillows. People slept in auditorium seats Sunday night.“We ended up having to go upstairs, probably got about 5 feet of water, 4 feet of water in the house,” said a man who was rescued Sunday afternoon by boat from his Bellevue home, where he’s lived for seven years. “And we were upstairs with seven grandchildren, took all our food up there, had lunch, played cards, read books and then came out that same window.”

There’s good news sort-of the rain has stopped.

The rain ended Sunday night but there will likely be weeks of cleanup for residents and public works employees alike. Though there was no official estimate, it was clear thousands of homes had been damaged or destroyed by flooding and tornadoes. Thousands of residents were displaced with some going to more than 20 shelters opened around Tennessee.Emily Petro, of the Red Cross in Nashville, said the agency was sheltering about 2,000 people across Tennessee — about 1,200 of them in Nashville.The Red Cross has asked for people to donate nonperishable items.

Nashville was not the only American city affected Lexington,KY was flooded mostly in outlying Fayette County. From WLEX-TV:

FLOOD EMERGENCY is in effect for Lexington and Fayette County as well as the following counties: Anderson, Bourbon, Boyle, Casey, Clark, Franklin, Garrard, Harrison, Jessamine, Lincoln, Madison, Marion, Mercer, Nicholas, Scott, Shelby, Washington, and Woodford.

Over 300 roads throughout Kentucky closed due to flooding.

More than 300 roads across Kentucky were blocked Monday by rising floodwaters from heavy rains that have caused at least three deaths in the state, officials said.

Searchers found the body of a man Sunday in Allen County whose truck ran off the road and into a flooded creek. Allen County Emergency Management Director Gary Petty said the man’s body was found about a mile away from where he went off the road.

A 27-year-old woman was swept away by flooding in Barren County just before noon on Sunday, WBKO-TV in Bowling Green reported.

Read it All !

WSMV-TV / HD “Channel 4 News”

WLEX-TV/ HD “Lex 18 News”

My prayers are for the families who lost loved ones, homes and livelyhoods that they will recover and healing.

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