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May 7: Imagine four feet of water in your home that is a combination of sewage flowing out of your toilets and muddy river/creek water. Now try to visualize everything that lives below four-feet in your home: drywall, paneling, books, CDs, DVDs, chest-of-drawers, mattresses, beds, toys, clothes, rugs, hardwood floors, tile, HVAC system, HVAC duct-work, photographs, electronics, piano, refrigerator, washer and  dryer, tools, pet food and pet supplies, dishwasher, garbage disposal, trash cans, couches, chairs, floor lamps, and the list goes on…such as privacy fences, decks, outdoor grills, etc, etc.
 Now imagine realizing that 85 percent of all everything I listed is/was destroyed when you arrive home, and you’ll know what my Sunday afternoon was like on May 2.
 The flood did not care what it destroyed, whether it was irreplaceable due to sentimental reasons or if it was junk that needed to be thrown out.
 However, I can say that it feels good to work for a business/institution that cares about its employees, and this caring was evident to me from the responses/reactions from the Chancellor, Vice Chancellors, and other leaders of our great University. I returned to work today, Friday, after spending four days salvaging and cleaning and was pleasantly surprised to read the responses from our Administration. Thank you.
—Luke Beauchamp

May 5: Last night, I sat in the backyard of several of the fabulous neighbors in our Bellevue neighborhood. We ate our burgers and hot dogs, washed them down with a beer, laughed and told stories for hours. We were soul-weary and body-weary after spending the day clearing out water soaked memories, ruined mementos and dirt caked dreams. Some of us were still covered in the foul mud that crept into our homes and the homes of our neighbors. As we talked away the daylight, I felt so grateful for my community. Grateful for the neighbors who banded together when cut off from the rest of the world by raging waters. Grateful for the homes that were spared. Grateful that my neighborhood knows each other; called to wake those in danger; rescued folks from their front porches by boat; checked on the homes of those not home. Grateful that we support each other physically and emotionally. We left each other last night as the sun left the sky all a little more full in the soul than when we had arrived.
 I share my good neighbors with the Vanderbilt community. My great neighborhood is also yours.
—Paige Moore

May 5: Nearly 5 years ago, my sister evacuated here after losing everything to Katrina. Today, she’s back at my place after the flood in Bellevue took out her first floor and car. But it’s different now. Although, like everyone else, there’s no insurance, we’re really struck by how much everyone at work, friends and neighbors really want to help. Thank you, Nashville!
—Mimi Eckhard

May 8: I had a very Nashville moment just now. Delivering simple sack lunches to neighbors in the Beautiful Valley section of Boone Trace. “We so appreciate it,” the woman said “Where can I send a thank-you note?”
 Really? A thank-you note for a dry, slightly squashed turkey sandwich, a bag of Sun Chips and a freckled banana? When her belongings have been hauled to the dump, her house has been stripped to the frames and she’s been up to her elbows all morning in Clorox?
 I’ve read and heard a lot about how Nashvillians have jumped to volunteer to help those who has suffered losses in this disaster. Having been on the volunteering end, I can’t tell you how impressed I have been with what an appreciative and thankful community we are. The manners and the hospitality are running both ways, let me tell you.
—Cynthia Floyd Manley

May 6: I live in Bellevue near River Plantation which was heavily flooded. Thankfully, I was not flooded. I have a rain gauge in my vegetable garden which I started monitoring on Saturday. I measured at least 20 inches of rain in a 48 hour period. At one point on Sunday, I was no longer able to get to the rain gauge to empty it, so there was a period of time when the rain overflowed the gauge, and therefore not included in the 20 inches that I measured.
—Sherry Thompson

For more Voices from the Flood, or to add your own, go to the Get the NAC blog at

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