Bodies Recovered as Nashville Floodwaters Recede

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Floodwaters were to beginning to recede in Nashville, Tenn., on Wednesday but the Cumberland River, which winds through the city, is still out of its banks.

At least 10 people died in the floodwaters and now city officials are trying to deal with the physical devastation left by the floods.

Millennial Flood?

Record flooding in The Music City left thousands of people in the dark in downtown Nashville on Tuesday, knocking out both electrical and water service.

Mayor Karl Dean said the power outage in the downtown area was expected to last for the next few days due to floodwaters that crept into underground vaults.

The Cumberland River crested late Monday night, swamping several city blocks in Nashville's tourist district in sewage-tainted water. The river crested late Monday at about 12 feet above flood stage.  Roads throughout the area were closed.  Thousands of people had to be evacuated from their homes and hotels, many by boat. The historic flooding has also caused hundreds of road closures and shut down businesses in downtown Nashville.

Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen has declared 52 of Tennessee's 95 counties disaster areas. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has called this flood a "1,000 year event."

The high waters also submerged landmarks such as the Grand Ole Opry House, the Gaylord Opryland Hotel, and LP Field, home of the Tennessee Titans.

In addition, the flooding shut down one of the two water plants serving the city of more than 600,000 people.

Bodies Recovered, Cleanup Begins

As people fled the high waters, several bodies were recovered Monday from homes. Now the cleanup begins for thousands of home owners who lost nearly everything they own.

"This is everything from our house here that's not in bags right there, I mean it was everything," said Nashville resident Luke Oakman, pointing to his belongings. "I mean there are memories, but we have an 11-month-old, she's fine. "We have a six-year-old dog, he's good. "This other stuff doesn't even matter."

Rescuers expect more bodies will emerge as muddy flood waters ebb from torrential weekend rains that swamped much of Tennessee and two neighboring states, leaving at least 29 dead.

Churches Ask for Help 

Local churches in Tennessee have exhausted their food pantries and have asked for more help. In response, CBN's Operation Blessing International has sent a truck to the region packed with 40,000 pounds of supplies, including pallets of food and drinking water.

CBN News will have more on Operation Blessings relief effort, on Thursday's episode of The 700 Club. Check local listings.

If you would like to contribute to Operation Blessing's relief efforts, click here.

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Mia Evans

Mia Evans

CBN News Reporter

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