Even though she doesn’t really want to think about water levels anymore, Sandra Davis-Carter says her glass is definitely half full.
The floods left seven feet of muddy water in her Madison home, but she has found many silver linings and put a positive spin on her personal devastation.
“My husband wouldn’t have ever torn up that house for me to redo it. It took a flood to get to remodel it the way I want it,” said Davis-Carter, administrative assistant in the Program in Human Simulation.
On a more serious note, she is thankful that she and her husband, Robert Carter, Ph.D., a former faculty member and now chair of the Department of Science at Volunteer State Community College, both have jobs and the means to rebuild.
She also learned about the wider economic impact from temporary workers with the clean-up company Servpro.
“Many of the workers cleaning up our home said they hadn’t worked in six to nine months,” she said. “The stores will be increasing their sales and laborers who couldn’t find work can now feed their families and pay some bills. Our disaster is their blessing.”
Davis-Carter also has a new grandchild—her first—to celebrate. He was born two days before the flood and had to spend time in an intensive care unit, but is now home and getting healthier every day.
Davis-Carter and her husband live on Denson Avenue in Madison, a street that dead-ends at a normally small creek. As the rains fell, she took photos charting the creek’s progress over it four-foot banks, over backyard fences, over a neighbor’s swimming pool, almost topping the rim of a basketball goal. They kept moving their cars to higher ground and eventually decided it was time to get themselves and their three dogs to safety.
She swears she keeps a good house, but the flood made it look like a slob had moved in. Heavy wooden furniture and the refrigerator were toppled over. A shoe somehow made it on top of the kitchen counter. Items once neatly stacked on shelves were strewn on the floor. A visible line on the walls, windows and curtains marks how high the water reached.
“I had to wade through waist-deep water to get into the house, and of course I was screaming because it was nasty,
but I had to see the inside,” she said.
It took three days to empty the house and try to salvage what they could—CDs and DVDs, a glass desk, some clothing.
On demolition day, she ripped out many of the walls herself but also had help from her boss, Lisa Rawn, director of Program in Human Simulation, and her husband’s boss, Nancy Morris, dean of the Math and Science division at Volunteer State Community College.
“We want to thank our bosses and all of our co-workers, friends and family members, too many to name, all who did not hesitate to come help clean-up our flooded home for many hours over several days,” she said.
Davis-Carter says she is a good businesswoman and her time at Vanderbilt in facilities planning and administrative management will help her find a good contractor. She’s ready to start rebuilding and get to that remodeling job she always wanted.
“I had to wade through waist-deep water to get into the house,

Page 1  2  3  4  5
House Organ
VU Home
back issues
search content
VUMC search
VUMC news
Faculty/Staff  Discount Program
VUMC event calendar
Health and Wellness
House Organ  Facebook page
Vanderbilt Employees’ Credit Union
e-mail the editor
Program in Human Simulation
Sandra Davis-Carter
Sandra DavisCarter