Media coverage of the recent Nashville, Tennessee floods has portrayed only a fraction of the magnitude of the disaster and tragedy that struck last weekend. The story has had to compete for media attention with the Times Square Bomber and the Gulf Oil Spill, and as Newsweek's Andrew Romano puts it, "newsworthiness now seems to be determined less by what's most important than by what all those other media outlets are talking about the most."
Some say this will be the most expensive natural disaster in U.S. history. According to a statement made by the Mayor of the city, damages could exceed $1 billion. The Cumberland River, which winds through downtown Nashville, crested 12 feet above the flood stage, spilling into the city and surrounding neighborhoods.
The death toll stands at 30 in Tennessee, Mississippi and Kentucky.
Nashville resident Rachel Weaver was home watching the news when she realized the rainstorm outside was not letting up. "The news became grimmer," she said, "And the callers phoning into the live news were in danger."
When I asked Rachel about the long-term impact this storm would have on the city, she responded, "As Nashville continues to organize to meet the immediate and future needs of those displaced temporarily and those who lost everything, the thoughts sink in that families will have to rebuild their entire lives and may never get back to where they were before the storm."
How You Can Help
• Text 'REDCROSS' to 90999 to donate $10 to disaster relief.
• Give to the Tennessee Emergency Response Fund.
• For corporate donations, contact the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee at 888-540-5200 and http://www.cfmt.org. For other donations, large or small, contact the Second Harvest Food Bank at 615-305-9818 and online at http://www.secondharvestmidtn.org/.