It has taken me 9 days to write this blog entry because 1) we just got our electricity back on last Saturday and 2) I am only now realizing that I should document what happened. It started when Maddy and I went to Guitar Fest in Leipers Fork Saturday May 1st. I should have checked the weather. I should have realized what was happening when I saw the intensity of the rain. I should have worried when the rain wouldn’t stop and I saw a parked car on the road with water up to it’s door. I should have really understood what was happening when we were stuck at the Leipers Fork Recreation Center because the roads were flooded and we couldn’t drive home for several hours. But I guess I just didn’t think that it could happen again…especially on the ANNIVERSARY of the first flood. The flood last year happened to us on May 2nd 2009. We woke up to it and had to rescue the alpacas. It was like re-living a nightmare to wake up on May 2nd 2010 and see nearly the exact same thing outside.
- Flood 2010
This photo was actually taken when the water level had gone way down, if you can imagine it any higher…
I mean, what exactly is UP with all this water, and WHY did it have to come back on the EXACT SAME DAY as last year? So – here we are re-living this awful experience, going back outside, moving the alpacas (this time into the barn with the poor bunny who has to be locked in her cage), hoping the rain will soon stop (but realizing it won’t anytime soon) and worrying again about the bridge and pasture. Soon after all the mayhem begins, we lose electricity and there is no contact with the outside world because soon after I called Carol on the banana phone to tell her I was most certainly not going to make it to work the next day, we lost all phone service. We couldn’t even use our cell phones.
The water had gotten so high it was just barely below the deck…this was taken when the rain had stopped and the water level had gone down some.
So, we just waited. Waited for the rain to stop. To make matters worse – because we were not able to drive over the bridge on Saturday evening when we finally returned home from the cancelled Guitar Fest, we parked the cars on a knoll in front by the road. I had a rental car because my car was being repaired. The rental car got water in the hood and ended up not starting on Monday. I am hopeful that my insurance company will pay for it. I filed the claim so now I just have to wait and see. The good part about parking by the road is that once the water receded and we were able to get out of the house, we could actually drive. If we had been on the other side of the bridge we would have been stranded. Because our bridge still isn’t fixed. The reason is that every contractor with heavy dirt moving equipment this side of the Mississippi and west of the Smoky Mountains is working on fixing public roads and bridges.
So, we hike each day to and from our cars and climb up to the bridge to get home. It isn’t too bad. It doesn’t look nice but it is OK. You sort of have to get over the fact that it’s inconvenient and realize that at some point you’re fortunate that you can even walk over the bridge in the first place. Yes, we’re thankful. We will be able to fix the bridge in time, and in the meantime, we get a little more exercise.
I think the worst damage occurred in the pasture – Eric’s favorite pavillion collapsed because the earth beneath it was washed away by flood water.
Where did the bike path go you ask? Well – it is literally buried under a million cubic yards of gravel. Enough gravel to cover 4 or 5 acres of land. It looks like the surface of the moon out there. At some point we have to dig the path out from under all this rock and dirt. On the bright side – I don’t think we will have a problem with weeds growing up through the path anytime soon.
This is the alpaca’s former pen. I say former because I am not sure this paddock will survive…we may have to move it or rebuild it. In the meantime – the alpaca’s are happily munching grass and weeds in their temporary pen here:
This weekend my plans are to fix this:
My poor garden beds. We lost the potatoes and carrots. But we can re-plant! I ordered some plants from Tally and pick them up tomorrow. I’ll try to get some more berry plants soon…I think we lost the blueberry plants too. My goal is to get this garden in shape this weekend.
As it turns out, unlike last year, this second flood affected not only our area but all of Middle Tennessee. Over 30 counties in Tennessee were declared a federal disaster area. Downtown Nashville, The Opryland Hotel, Opry Mills mall, The Grand Old Opry, Bellevue, Belle Meade, Kingston Springs, Franklin, and many many other communities were devastated by this flood. Hundreds if not thousands lost belongings, homes, pets, livestock, cars, and lives. It is truly shocking what has happened to everyone here. I am lucky. I only lost a fridge and freezer full of food, some wood benches, fencing, the driveway, some garden beds, grass, trees and a bike path. I am lucky because I have my family, my home, and all my animals still alive. I am lucky because my business can continue despite the damage. It may not look pretty, but the summer camp kids won’t care – they can still play in the creek. The only activity impacted by this is bicycling on the path. We have about 75 other things we can do around here. It may seem depressing, but we have to accept reality, count our blessings, and move on.
I am optimistic, and I will try not to freak out every time it starts to pour rain again.