Nashville Hit By 100-Year Flood
Nashville Radio Swings Into Action
May 3, 2010 at 3:11 PM (PT)
It’s being referred to as the 100-year flood, as NASHVILLE and surrounding areas took a pounding over the weekend with torrential rains, tornado warnings and major flooding. The NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE has reported that the area took in over 20 inches of rain, with surrounding areas reporting up to 30 inches, from SATURDAY morning (5/1) when the storms began, until the rains finally subsided late SUNDAY afternoon (5/2).
On SATURDAY afternoon, NASHVILLE Mayor KARL DEAN officially announced that the city was under a State Of Emergency. Mayor DEAN said during a press conference that over 600 NASHVILLE residents were rescued due to the flooding. As of 12:30p (CT) TODAY (5/3), the flood water from the CUMBERLAND RIVER in Downtown NASHVILLE has taken over 1st, 2nd and 3rd Avenues, now approaching the COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME & MUSEUM.
Tragically, police officials are now reporting the death count from the storms to have claimed 11 lives. Many subdivisions and neighborhoods were evacuated; thousands are still without power. The OPRYLAND HOTEL was one of the locations that had to evacuate. At 9p (CT) on SUNDAY night, in a precautionary measure, OPRYLAND bussed 1,500 guests to nearby McGAVOCK HIGH SCHOOL. Additional occupants were bused to various hotels with vacant rooms. At the time of the evacuation, Briley Parkway, which is where the hotel resides, was closed completely to traffic.
Overall, NASHVILLE radio stations reacted to the storms with urgency, using both their airwaves and websites to provide important information. CITADEL Country WKDF OM/PD DAVE KELLY told ALL ACCESS: “WKDF went full coverage around noon on SATURDAY. We utilized staff in various areas to report on conditions and relied on listeners to help be our eyes and ears. As for outage affects, WKDF’s main transmitter sites power went out SATURDAY evening during one of the storms. We stayed on our main till late last night with our generator. Currently on our down town back up transmitter that gives us 90% coverage.” WKDF is keeping listeners posted of updates on their website, www.103wkdf.com.
WKDF shares tower space with several other stations. NASHVILLE PUBLIC RADIO WPLN/NASHVILLE is still off-air due to flood damage as well as TUNED IN BROADCASTING Triple A WRLT/NASHVILLE, as of 4p (CT) TODAY (5/3).
CLEAR CHANNEL Country WSIX/NASHVILLE has continuous coverage on their website at www.wsix.com, where listeners can see photos from all over the Middle TENNESSEE region, as well as a live webcam from Downtown NASHVILLE, as flood waters continue to rise as the CUMBERLAND RIVER crests.
PD KEITH KAUFMAN said: "We remained on the air the entire time and we had updated information every 10 minutes all weekend. The information was coming in so fast that we decided to go with wall-to-wall coverage for an extended period of time. GERRY HOUSE (morning personality) and BIG D (of PREMIERE RADIO NETWORKS' syndicated "BIG D & BUBBA" show) simply couldn't make it in today. RICHARD FALKLEN (HOUSE FOUNDATION morning show producer) and PATRICK THOMAS ("BIG D & BUBBA" show producer) both have flooding in their homes. We're in the midst of putting together a huge fundraiser for those affected. Flood insurance isn't something a lot of folks around here elect to carry. I was able to fly over much of the affected area today. I've never seen anything like this. Listener submitted photos are incredible as well."
GAYLORD Country WSM-A/NASHVILLE kept listeners informed throughout the weekend with in-house news coverage and updates from their studio, with additional news breaks from their news partner, WSMV-TV/NASHVILLE. The staff was forced to evacuate from their location at the OPRYLAND HOTEL this morning at 5a (CT) as flood waters rose inside.
The station temporarily switched to their backup programming as they gathered the necessary equipment to move to the studio at the original WSM-A tower in BRENTWOOD (a suburb of NASHVILLE). They were able to pick back up with live programming at 8a (CT), never going off the air during the transition. OM/PD JOE LIMARDI tells ALL ACCESS that it could be several months before they can return to the OPRYLAND HOTEL studio.
CUMULUS Country WSM-F (95.5 THE WOLF)/NASHVILLE PD/afternoon personality RUSSEL P. tells ALL ACCESS that over the weekend THE WOLF called in news and weather extraordinaire TIM ROSS, former WSMV-TV weatherman and now WOLF information guru, and he kept everyone updated on the effects of it all. Moving forward, the station is working on some creative ways to assist with the cleanup and recovery.
SOUTH CENTRAL COMMUNICATIONS WCJK (JACK FM)/NASHVILLE is holding a “Request-A-Thon," raising money for the RED CROSS with $25 donations in exchange for requests, check it out here.
CAPITOL/NASHVILLE artist DIERKS BENTLEY canceled his “Up On The Ridge” tour dates on SUNDAY (5/2) in NASHVILLE and TONIGHT (5/3) night in CHARLOTTSVILLE due to flooding and road closures in NASHVILLE. Tickets for both show will be refunded.
DIERKS said: “For the safety of my band, crew and their families back here in NASHVILLE, we are parking the buses and not going to try and attempt the trip east to KNOXVILLE and CHARLOTTESVILLE. As much as we'd love to be playing music tonight, it feels like the right thing to do. I hope to reschedule both dates soon.”
DIERKS also tweeted about the storms and posted a picture of his flooded basement. Check out the picture here.
CURB artist CLAY WALKER tweeted that he is missing a horse after flooding in NASHVILLE took down the fences around his property. WALKER said: “Her name is PENNY. She's 15'3 light sorrell with blaze face and two back socks. Let me know if you have her or have seen her. Thanks.”
Country legend NAOMI JUDD called a television station to warn neighbors that six buffalo escaped from WYNONNA’s farm in LEIPER’S FORK, TN during the flooding. SELECTONE RECORDS artist STEVE WARINER posted on his FACEBOOK page: “Been busy getting three feet of water out of my basement. The ground is so wet it is coming up from the ground! We are pumping it out with garden hoses!” CURB/NASHVILLE artist JO DEE MESSINA’s home was also flooded and she reported on her TWITTER that the water was at least five-feet high.
WARNER BROS./NASHVILLE artist JOHN RICH tweeted: "Seven-feet deep in GRANNY RICH’s basement! Fire Department is picking her up in a boat." RICH later updated that GRANNY had been safely rescued. ARISTA/NASHVILLE artist BRAD PAISLEY, who lives in WILLIAMSON COUNTY, reported on his TWITTER that he witnessed "two giraffes, two elephants and two rhinos walking down the street toward a HUGE boat. Thinking about following them."
Many Country music stars also reached out on social sites to ask for prayers for NASHVILLE residents. RASCAL FLATTS member JOE DON ROONEY tweeted: "Everyone please pray for NASHVILLE. The flooding is horrible, and the rain is still coming." His bandmate JAY DeMARCUS said: “NASHVILLE is a disaster area! I've never seen anything like this!!"