The Moment

5|3|10: Nashville

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When the Cumberland river, overwhelmed by unrelenting rainstorms, began to overflow and the city's levees began to leak, America's eyes were focused elsewhere. A car bomb had just been discovered in Times Square--an attempted act of terrorism that seemed much more menacing than a few flooded basements--and an uncontrollable amount of oil continued to spill into the Gulf of Mexico. So what about Nashville? It was only rain. But even when the skies cleared, the river kept rising. It washed away trees; it rushed into businesses. It killed 28 people throughout the region. Homes and honky-tonks were flooded with 10 ft. (3 m) of water. Helicopters rescued people from rooftops. Farm animals huddled on hillsides. A woman tried to drive through a flooded street, only to drown in her car. A body washed up behind a grocery store. And the stage of the Grand Ole Opry, the spiritual home of country music, once graced by legends like Patsy Cline and Hank Williams, is now waterlogged. This is Nashville's worst flood in 80 years. It is not a bomb, and it is not an oil spill, but it has destroyed a city all the same.