It's with much much sadness that I start this blog post. I'm sitting on the couch in front of the news at my parent's house in Hohenwald next to Georgia and Mike. Today was unlike any other day. So very unlike any other day.
It started with me waking up a few times to thunder and rain. It was such a relaxing environment to sleep in so I didn't roll out of bed until 11:15am. I piddled around for an hour, laid in the hammock on the deck, and then I woke up Mike at noon.
It was nice to lay in the hammock and listen/watch it rain. The creek was flowing pretty heavily, but it was of no concern. Just a nice background noise. After waking Mike up, we decided today was a good rainy day for pancakes! We went to Cracker Barrel for some breakfast and it was beyond rainy. We had a tornado warning but it wasn't anything to be alarmed about really. We were going to just go home but we had a few things to grab at WalMart real quick so we headed over. Everything was flooded. We got our things and we started to check out. The cashier told us that Liberty Pike was shut down. Uh-oh. That was our way home! Well we headed out and just like she said, we had to turn around and take a side road. We finally got to the house and here is what we found:
(Keep in mind, our creek looked like THIS just last week!) All dried up!
Instead, our entire backyard was a giant river. About 7' deep. It had already broken the big wood fence separating our yard from our neighbors. It got scary. I immediately started bawling and I called my mom in panic.
Mom calmed me down and told me I needed to regain my composure to avoid an asthma attack. I brought Morgan and Bryan to the back to show them what was happening; They had no idea. We all moved our cars to a church down the street because it had higher ground. After that, we walked down the street and checked on all of our neighbors and eventually came home to measure the water. Here's a picture of me standing on flat land... a concrete porch that comes up from our backyard (about 4 feet off the ground). Even here, it's waist high.
We decided to prepare for the absolute worst since the water was rising so incredibly fast. We started moving furniture and clothing to higher places. Everyone brought their cars to the street in front and started moving things into their vehicles. The shower flooded our bathrooms before we moved stuff. We took our (new) couch and put it up on the counters and prayed for the best. We moved all of our electronics and then the power shot in our room. We turned off the main breaker and continued to move. I saved some of my dresses, my computer, sewing machine, and eventually tv. Everything else, though, is probably gone.
Here's a picture of our driveway. You can barely tell but at this point, the water was well over the back deck and about a foot deep in our house.
This is the front of the house, viewed from the road, before the water took over the entire front. By the time we were finishing up moving stuff out, it was up to the tops of my thighs when I walked.
Here are some interior shots... The first photo is our living room. The second photo is mine and Mike's room.
These last two pictures were taken thirty minutes apart... Look at the drastic difference. Also, peep the water line at the window in the last photo.... then scroll up to the one of me being waist deep. THAT is how much deeper it got in 2 hours. By the time we left, it was pitch black and there was absolutely no hope.
We are lucky that we are renting, however, we do not have renter's insurance. So everything in the house is pretty much gone. Including well over half of my clothes, all 4 of our beds, our new couch, all of our dressers and desks, and all of our furniture. Plus all of my fabrics and things of that nature. Luckily, it's all materialistic. I am fine. Mike is fine. and Georgia is fine.
At one point, Georgia snuck out and almost went for a swim. My heart has never sank so quickly. Luckily Mike was able to grab a hold of her and get her back inside. We kept her in the car out front while we finished moving things out, just to keep her safe.
Our house is completely gone. Everything. The ceilings had already started to crack, the floorboards and the carpets were floating and buckling. I'll be surprised if the back deck is attached tomorrow. The rain is continuing to fall. It's supposed to rain more tomorrow than it did today. Our bikes are gone. Our shed is gone. It's heartbreaking. By the time we left, the water in the backyard was about 15 feet deep, and it was over 2 feet deep in the house.
None of this feels real. I feel like I'm in a poorly scripted movie. The likelihood that we will be able to live in our house is pretty much non-existant. So that leaves us in a pickle. I'm supposed to leave for NYC in exactly 3 weeks. All of this will be figured out though.
My parents came to our rescue. We drove the three cars down to Hohenwald where we are staying with my parents, probably indefinitely. We just have to figure out about Mike's job. I couldn't go to work tonight, either. It's really just such an awful situation.
Sadly, we are far from the only ones affected. A lot of our neighbors are experiencing the same misfortune and even one house down the street caught on fire. Please keep my neighbors, and all of Tennessee affected by this, in your thoughts and prayers.
Thank you so much for all the wonderful tweets and messages thus far. Every kind word goes so so far, I assure you. All of our material items can be replaced. We can't. I'm so thankful and blessed that we're all okay and we had a warm, inviting home to stay at. So many aren't that fortunate.
I've spent the better part of the evening crying. So now I'm going to settle in, watch a movie, and eat junk food to settle my soul. Tomorrow is when Mike and I can start talking serious things. But again, please keep all of my neighbors in your heart/prayers as they continue to battle this throughout the night.