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With Heartbreak and Hope, Nashville Residents Continue Cleanup

Jeffrey Williams stands outside of his Bordeaux area home in Nashville, shaking his head as he looks at the wet pile of personal belongings and garbage in his front yard. “I just knew this would happen eventually, I just wasn’t expecting it now,” he said.

Williams was referring to the flood plain he lives on with his wife and 13-year-old son. Since moving into the home in 1992, it hasn’t flooded—until now.

As a cleanup crew is gutting his home, he recalls, “It started raining really hard and the water just kept coming up and up. The water hit the house next to us first, which caused it to start, almost like dance. Then it lifted off its foundation and floated upright into the street.”

The neighbor’s home was blocking the street and had to be demolished earlier this week. Williams then described how the water came into his home.

“We were watching the water outside, then all of a sudden it started coming up through the floor vents. We got really scared and headed upstairs. The cars started floating around in the yard, it was very surreal.”

The Williams family had to be rescued by boat, as the water had risen about four feet into the first floor of their home. They tried to save mementos and family heirlooms, but they couldn’t take much into the boat.

Williams said about his wife, “She isn’t handling this well; she is pretty upset, although we are glad it was only things we lost—our family is safe.” Talking about losing priceless antiques and things passed down from generation to generation brought a look of sadness to Williams’ face.

As he spoke, an American Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle drove through the neighborhood delivering lunch to workers and families. Williams smiled and said, “Ah, the meal service has been great. It has been really nice to get a warm meal during the day.”

“I don’t know what we would have done without all the volunteers and organizations like the Red Cross helping us out,” he added.

Help people affected by disasters like the recent floods and tornadoes in the South, by donating to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. On those rare occasions when donations exceed Red Cross expenses for a specific disaster, contributions are used to prepare for and serve victims of other disasters. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for disasters and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to victims of all disasters. Call 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting