Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tennessee Flooding, How You Can Help

Nashvilles Famed Music Quieted by Flooding
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The blazing fiddles and screaming guitars at Nashville's famed downtown honky-tonks are a little quieter as the city recovers from flash flooding and storms blamed for at least 29 deaths in three states.

Elsewhere in Nashville, the Country Music Hall of Fame has closed and the Grand Ole Opry -- the most famous country music show in the world -- had to move its performances.

The Cumberland River, which winds through the heart of the city, spilled over its banks as Nashville received more than 13 inches of pounding rain over the weekend. The flash floods were blamed in the deaths of at least 18 people in Tennessee alone, including nine in Nashville. Other deaths from the weekend storms were reported in Kentucky and Mississippi.

None of the deaths were in the city's entertainment district, a five-block square of honky-tonks and restaurants downtown where animated barkers often stand outside at night encouraging patrons to step inside. But some businesses had to shut down -- a blow to Nashville's economy and reputation as a freewheeling town. The city has more than 11 million visitors annually.

On Tuesday, residents who had frantically fled their homes returned to find mud-caked floors and soggy furniture.
Tennessee Emergency Management
Know How to Provide Help That Makes a Positive Difference

Donated goods and volunteers that are not specifically needed in a disaster area can hurt more than help, sometimes causing what disaster officials call a “secondary” disaster.

Officials working the recovery from flooding in Tennessee are asking media and the general public to ask how they can help before they try to do clothing, food or other donation drives. In Tennessee, a simple telephone call to (866) 586-4483 is the best way to start trying to help.

Donation Hotline for Tennessee Flood Disaster Open

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) has activated the Tennessee Emergency Donations Hotline to accept contributions to support state flood victims. Volunteers will begin answering calls at 8 a.m. on Wed., May 5. The toll free number is (866) 586-4483, and the hotline will be staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CDT daily.

Metro Nashville-Davidson County

Very specific donation requests include large quantities of the following: diapers, baby formula, cleaning supplies and rubber gloves, wet vacs, brooms, mops, dehumidifers and generators. If citizens have large quantities, they should contact the Community Foundation of Middle TN at or 321-4939. The most urgent need continues to be cash donations, which can be made to the Metro Disaster Fund at CFMT.

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