Country music luminaries raised $1.5 million in donations with a weekend telethon to help Tennessee recover from this month's 500-year flood. Governor Phil Bredesen says damages should easily top $1 billion, with Nashville alone looking at $1.5 billion. At least 30 people were killed. The folks left with the cleanup say they get the sense the world has forgotten them.
On May 1, 2010, a record rainfall of 12 to 20 inches in 36 hours fell upon the state of Tennessee, creating one of the worst flooding disasters in our nation's history. Dozens of people died and billions of dollars of damage were sustained to homes, businesses, and infrastructure across the state (42 of our 95 counties have already been declared federal disaster areas). Thousands have lost their homes and jobs. The government reacted swiftly, and a massive volunteer effort engaged quickly as well. But more than two weeks later, there are still people who have not received help in remote communities.
The minimal national news coverage we have received has been mostly centered on Nashville, creating an inaccurate, minimized public perception. The totality of losses are still unknown as even the local media has been unable to investigate and cover devastation that occurred in many poor, isolated communities throughout the state. As a resident of middle Tennessee, I, as well as many others, feel slighted by the media. The failure to provide appropriate media coverage of this still pending disaster is perhaps a reason why some have still not received any help, and this is unacceptable.