Wednesday, May 5, 2010

More Flood News

Piranha Escape at Opry Mills,

A pair of piranha reportedly escaped from their aquarium during Nashville's recent flood. According to police reports quoted by television station WKRN, at least two flesh-eating piranha slipped out of the huge 150,000-gallon tank at Aquarium Restaurant in the Opry Mills mall and are swimming in the flooded hallways, where water remains waist-deep to neck-deep in spots. Piranha are freshwater fish, native to South America.

School Year Might Be Over

Students probably will not be asked to stay late because of flooding, as state and local officials said they are not inclined to extend a school year.

Officials at Metro Nashville Public Schools said they plan to ask the Tennessee Department of Education for a waiver from the state's minimum number of school days, as floodwaters followed heavy snows in forcing the district to run through all of the extra days built into the academic calendar.

Representatives for other large local districts likewise said they plan to seek waivers or would not need to do so to end on time. Education Commissioner Tim Webb said Tuesday that he intends to grant waivers to any district that asks for one because of flooding.

Teen Wonders Why She Lived and Others Didn't -- The Tennessean

Remember the photo I posted a few days back of the boy and girl clinging to the top of a Jeep? This story is about her.
Photo by Rick Murray/Tennessean

Andrea Silvia and Jamey Howell clung to the roof rack of a Jeep Cherokee, the furious waters of Lower Station Camp Creek pulling at their shoes.

It started as a trip to church, stalled by a flooded road near Station Camp High School that Howell hoped his Jeep could handle. As the water rushed inside, they called 911 and their parents.
"I talked to her about survival. To fight with everything she ever had," said Silvia's mother, Angie Silvia. "I threw myself on the floor of the house and cried, begged and prayed to God nonstop."
For more than an hour, the couple clung to the Cherokee and each other, screaming for help and praying. Their relatives looked on in terror from 200 yards away.

Then Silvia, 19, and Howell, 18, had an idea. They'd release a backpack and see which way the current carried it. If it veered into power lines, they'd know they couldn't let go.

It went the other way.
"People think we were taken by the current, but we decided to jump on the count of three," Silvia said. "I am so confused on how we lived and other people didn't. We never talked about dying."
They swam with the current for about a mile, making for the shore at a clearing. They dragged themselves out of the water, and Silvia began crying. A lady in a nearby apartment complex let them use her phone. Family was there with towels in less than five minutes.
Post Flood Clean-up Begins

Sanford Myers
Joe DeGuira, a chef at Loews Vanderbilt Hotel, cooks a big breakfast on his grill for his family and for anyone who needs a bite in the Somerset development off of Coley Davis Road in Bellevue Monday, May 3, 2010. The area was hard hit by flood waters. Tennesseean

President Declares Federal Disaster

As of today, President Obama has declared several counties in Tennessee as federal disaster areas. Cheatham, Davidson, Hickson, Williamson, Montgomery and Dyer Counties are included. The President's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in the six counties authorized to date, including both individual and public assistance.

A dollar amount was not tied to the president's announcement. Assistance can include low-cost loans for uninsured property owners, funds for temporary housing and home repairs, and other programs for residents and businesses.

State and local governments, as well as nonprofits working with the affected counties, also may be eligible, according to a White House news release.

Preliminary damages estimates are $1 billion dollars.

No comments: