Genma Speaks

Entrepreneur/ Writer/ Radio-Host

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Nashville's Big One..The Flood of 2010

This past week has been like no other in Nashville's history! I found myself reciting the nursery rhyme “rain, rain go away come back another day” several times over the last few days. The rain started Thursday evening and did not let up until Monday morning. If I ever doubted whether the earth was covered with water for forty days and forty nights, I will never do it again. Yes ma'am (sir) , I believe it rained and there was a big boat.

Water is everywhere in our area. Even if it is not in your house or business, it is in your head. The haunting images of friends who literally was drowning trying to save themselves and their small children fill my eyes with tears even as I write. Words can barely describe the destruction and devastation.

Our plight in Nashville did not get the national media coverage that we have seen from other cities’ natural disasters. But thank God for Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites that got the stories out across the nation. In spite of any initial national coverage, we saw the people of this great city do what we are known for doing, pitching in to help when there are trials and tribulation to overcome.

Real heroes and sheroes stepped up to the plate not because it was news worthy but because that the hearts and minds of the people in the Tennessee, the Volunteer State. We give to those who need a helping hand. This time, we needed each other like never before. We have survived several tornadoes over the last few years with resiliency and determination to rebuild again and got back to living productive and sound lives. But this is the first flood in decades. The Flood of 2010 may have damaged many stately buildings, prominent businesses and homes of the famous and the everyday person but hearing story after story of servants serving because they care for each other, warms my heart and gives me hope in the midst of these tragic circumstances.

When churches cancel services in Nashville, you know it is bad. When non-profits cancel fundraisers, you know it is awful. We businesses owners fail to show up to network, we are dealing with calamity. President Obama officially declared our beautiful city and the Middle Tennessee counties a federal disaster area. When I saw a large yacht not docked at the Cumberland River but resting on Second Avenue, I thought to myself, “This is a disaster.”

But not even disasters can not keep babies from coming when they are ready to be born. A baby girl was delivered on Saturday evening after the mom tweeted she was in labor and could not get to the hospital. An OB-GYN doctor and a neo-natal nurse waded through water to get to the frantic mother. The baby was safely delivered at home and then canoed out of the subdivision to a hospital. Both mom and baby are fine from all reports. Twitter was also my medium of choice to reach out to others, check on customers, give updates about traffic and road closures, and to offer assistance to the elderly or young moms in need in my area. The response was overwhelming. From Donelson to Hermitage, our trucks delivered water, baby and adult diapers, picked up prescriptions, took folks to the hospital, and tracked down baby formula. Moms and elderly area neighbors were ecstatic when I knocked on the door and I was humbled hearing the raw emotions of panic weary folks. I cried with total strangers as if we have known each other for years!

As I was riding around Nashville trying to get to Jefferson Street, I looked at the Nashville’s skyline and wondered will it ever be the same again? The more I pondered the thought, the more I remembered reading story after story of people who were helping their neighbors and others without hesitation. Sometimes, things happen to help us appreciate what we have and to help remind us to say “I love you” to our love ones more often. The more I think about it, I realize we will never be the same again, because God is preparing us to be better than we ever hoped or imagined we could be as a city of people that truly understand why Tennessee is called the “Volunteer State”.

Photo credits: AP

1 comment

Neely Williams said...

So very well stated, thank you. And I could not agree more. We are all blessed by the out pouring of compassion and caring that has been, and continues to be expressed by the wonderful folks in the great city. As much as I am sadden by the lost of others all around me, I am even more grateful for the responses I witness and hear about. My engery is being renewed day by day, and it makes be truly believe that my work and the wonderful work of yourself and others is not in vine. Thank you again. Neely Williams

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