Nashville's Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum (Photo courtesy of Tennessean.com)
As a resident of Memphis and someone who was trapped in Middle Tennessee during the weekend's floods (more on that later) the flooding in Nashville is big news for me right now. We've had our own storm damage in Memphis, especially severe flooding in the northern part of the county in Millington.
Downtown Nashville (Photo courtesy of Tennessean.com)
But since this is a travel blog my mind is on Nashville. Maybe you've seen pictures of the damage caused by the high-rising waters in and around the city from last weekend's deluge. A number of that city's attractions have been touched by the waters -- literally. The beautiful grand lobbies of the Opryland Hotel are under water. Some 1,500 visitors were evacuated Sunday night.
Opry Mills Mall with Opryland Hotel in background. Cumberland River in foreground (Photo courtesy of Tennessean.com)
Just imagine for a moment being on a vacation, a business trip or just in the hotel having dinner and suddenly being told you had to leave because of rising waters.
The nearby Opry Mills Mall reportedly has been flooded, as has downtown Nashville, including the famed Second Avenue and all its clubs, bars and restaurants. Who knows what it will look like when the waters recede. Music Row and the historic Ryan Auditorium, original home of the Grand Ole Opry, are safe. But the current Grand Ole Opry building at Opryland is under water. So is the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
(Photo courtesy of tennessean.com)
Imagine the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, any of the Smithsonian museums in Washington or even smaller venues like Memphis' Stax, the Rock and Soul Museum or Sun Studio being under water.
The Tennessee Titans' stadium was flooded and the downtown arena where the NHL's Predators play saw rising waters.
How to bring this closer to home? Well, it depends on where home is for you. In Memphis, imagine Beale Street being under water. FedExForum's plush lockerrooms gutted. I don't know if Graceland and the Grand Ole Opry building are on the same level, but both are important music treasures to their respective cities. So imagine the first level of Graceland being under water.
New Orleans' French Quarter was also flooded from Hurricane Katrina, although nowhere near the degree to that in Nashville. A visit I made there two years after the fact showed how nicely that area had recovered. Downtown Nashville and the Opryland area will recover as well.
But what will help the recovery happen quicker is if we spend our tourist dollars there. When the mall reopens, shop there. When the hotel opens, visit its spectacular lobbies and buy dessert or dinner at one of its many restaurants. Book a night there. When Second Avenue reopens, have a dance at the Wildhorse Saloon.
In the meantime, if you'd like to help the people of Nashville here are a few resources courtesy of my friend I Love Memphis.
The first place is nashvillest, which lists a lot of great information.
If you're on Twitter, check out @ericshuff. He's the the social media director for the Tennessean newspaper.
Hands on Nashville and The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee lists valuable ways we can all do our part to help the Nashville community recover.
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