Tuesday, May 4, 2010

How High's the Water, Mama?

It's funny how people who deal with history on a daily basis never seem to expect to witness it.
The May Day flood of 2010 has had an incredible impact on people and businesses around the area. The human cost has been awful, and the economic and social cost will not be apparent for years to come. My thoughts and prayers are with all those who have suffered and lost in this terrible tragedy.

The Cumberland, Harpeth, and Duck Rivers can be mean and nasty when they want to be. Nashville has seen many floods in its history, and hard as it is to believe, what just happened is not even the worst in the city's history. Just take a look at the two fellows to the right, who are taking a lovely gondola ride down Second Avenue in 1926. (A special shout out to the lovely Miranda. Thanks for the image.) On that occasion, the Cumberland crested at 56 feet.

Over at the website of the Tennessee State Library and Archive can be seen a series of chillingly familiar pictures showing the great deluge of 1950:

Again, not the type of history anyone wants to be part of, but one that - thankfully - none of us are likely to see again within our lifetimes.

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