Cleanup continues after flash flooding in Middle TN - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

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Cleanup continues after flash flooding in Middle TN

Posted: Updated: Aug 9, 2013 11:43 AM
Flooding on Briley Parkway at I-24 northwest of Nashville. Flooding on Briley Parkway at I-24 northwest of Nashville.
Flooding at The Valley Center in Mount Juliet on Thursday morning Flooding at The Valley Center in Mount Juliet on Thursday morning
Residents of Ewing Lane leave the area after discovery of a propane leak after Thursday's flooding. Residents of Ewing Lane leave the area after discovery of a propane leak after Thursday's flooding.
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

The cleanup continues in many parts of Middle Tennessee following torrential rainfall and areas of flash flooding this week that left several without homes, cars and other belongings.

In north Nashville and the Madison area, where some people were stranded on their rooftops during Thursday morning's rising waters, Friday was a day to dry out and take stock of the situation.

There is a growing sentiment among homeowners that they will not stand by and see this happen again.

"It's going to take a miracle to get us through this mess," said resident Mike Moore. "We were just starting to make a good dent in the mortgage, and the first flood came through."

His was among many homes along Ewingdale drive swamped by flood water Thursday, reminding many here of the historic May 2010 flood. Right across the street from Moore's home is a green space where Metro purchased homes damaged in 2010 and torn them down.

"We can't do it again," Moore said.

The community has already begun to help where it is needed most.

"Everything that can help a family start to get back on their feet. We have cleaning buckets, mops, rakes, shovels," Mike Lewis, with Churches of Christ Disaster Relief.

The American Red Cross kept one of its emergency shelters open for anyone who still needs urgent assistance following the flooding. The shelter is at Mt. Zion Church located at I-24 and Old Hickory Boulevard in Bordeaux.

On Friday, two Red Cross mobile feeding trucks also responded to affected areas to deliver water and snacks. The Red Cross partnered with the Salvation Army to assist with feeding efforts.

Some of the worst damage was at the Parkwood Villa apartment complex in north Nashville, where close to 300 residents were told to leave their homes and some may be displaced for 90 days.

The water there never rose high enough to make it a life-threatening situation, but the threat lingering Friday was all about their future as they wonder where they will live.

Electricity concerns and water damage forced the complex to shut down 84 units. About half of those residents should get the OK to return home in the next few days, but the rest could be scrambling for shelter for more than a month.

Nashville Councilman Walter Hunt wanted answers from the apartment complex, too, as he questioned apartment complex managers about what is next while families watched Friday.

"I think these people having a decent place to sleep comes way before a bunch of policies and orange cones saying, 'You can't go there.' I won't accept that," Hunt said.

For now, the only communication residents are getting from Parkwood Villa Apartments is a voicemail message stating that no one will be allowed back into the apartments until they are deemed safe, but no timetable has been given.

Thursday flash flooding

The heavy rains had dozens of people trapped in their homes and fleeing the rising water in images we haven't seen since the historic flood of May 2010.

Some people were stranded on their rooftops, part of Briley Parkway and many side roads were closed as they sat under water and a Mt. Juliet business was even lifted from its foundation and carried 30 feet away by the rushing water.

According to the National Weather Service, trained weather spotters reported anywhere from 3" to 7" of rainfall. In Madison and north Nashville, there are reports of 6" to 7" of rainfall, where evacuations were ongoing Thursday.

Thankfully, no deaths have been reported, and there has only been one minor injury.

Nashville Mayor Karl Dean said in a press conference with leaders from Metro emergency agencies that there are many resources available to residents affected by flooding.

"At this point, we're not anticipating additional significant flooding, but we continue to monitor the situation closely since weather patterns can often change," Dean said. "We are taking all necessary steps to be fully prepared if the situation worsens unexpectedly. I urge everyone to be cautious on any roadways where there appears to be floodwaters."

Residents with wet items needing to be disposed of can place them at the curb and contact 311 or 862-8750 to arrange pick up, or go to http://www.nashville.gov/public-works to complete an on-line customer service request form.

Officials with The Salvation Army and the American Red Cross were attempting to relocate more than 300 people from the Parkwood Villa apartment complex. Four units of the complex suffered serious damage.

"We are working with the American Red Cross to provide food at their designated shelters for families displaced by the flood," said Jason Martin, Director of Marketing for The Salvation Army. "It is estimated that the families from Parkwood Villa will be in shelter for three to five days."

Dean said it was too early to put a dollar figure on the damage to homes and businesses, and while more rain is expected in coming days, officials do not expect more flooding.

Dean said there were 211 reports of water rescues Thursday in Nashville alone, and several surrounding communities, such as Mt. Juliet, have reported others.

"I called 911 and said, 'Can you get over here?' They couldn't get here, because it was too choppy. It was like a lake in my front yard," said flood victim Calvin Hooch.

In the area of the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, traffic was stopped by high water on Briley Parkway for a time.

Emergency crews dispatched 12 boats from Nashville Fire-OEM and Metro Police, as well as a swift water rescue team.

Some families along Ewing Creek decided to take a chance and float their way out.

"All of a sudden, we see a lady and a baby floating on a mattress," said flood victim Sara Mickelsen.

The only reported injury was a person with a lacerated foot.

In Mount Juliet, several roads were closed because of flooding. Old Lebanon Dirt Road was closed for much of the day before reopening Thursday evening.

There were at least two home evacuations in the Mount Juliet area. One was reported on West Division Street while another was on Beckwith Road just outside the city limits.

In Hendersonville, six homes were flooded in the Walton Trace area.

Smithson Craighead Academy and Boys Prep School of Nashville were closed Thursday. No county school systems have altered their schedules. Boys Prep School announced it will reopen on Tuesday.

Rose Park Middle Magnet at Johnson School will be closed Friday because of flooding.

Metro schools said any student who was unable to get safely to school Thursday morning because of weather will have an excused absence.

Remember, do not drive your vehicle into areas where the water covers the roadway. Flood waters are usually deeper than they appear. Just one foot of flowing water is powerful enough to sweep vehicles off the road. When encountering flooded roads, turn around, don't drown.

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