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Floods Prompt Evacuations in Downtown Nashville  

2010-05-04 03:35:29|  分类: 历史与文化 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Floods Prompt Evacuations in Downtown Nashville - 雪山飞狐 - JOKUL VOLANT TOD

Kristin M. Hall/Associated Press

Flood waters continued to rise in Nashville, Tenn., on Monday.

By WILLIAM HARLESS and JOSEPH BERGER

Published: May 3, 2010

NASHVILLE — Parts of downtown Nashville were evacuated on Monday as the rising Cumberland River, swollen by two days of drenching thunderstorms, flowed into streets near the country music joints and honky-tonk bars that have made the city a tourist attraction.

At least 19 people in Tennessee, Kentucky and Mississippi have been killed so far as a result of some of the heaviest rains in residents’ memories — 13 inches of rain has fallen in Nashville, a record by far for a two-day period. Officials in Tennessee, where 13 deaths have been recorded, 6 of them in Nashville, were bracing for more as the Cumberland continued to rise, reaching 50 feet, a level not seen since the 1960s, before a system of flood-control dams was built.

Nashville authorities were particularly concerned about a leaky levee that allowed floodwater to spill onto some downtown streets, including First Avenue near the riverfront. Officials feared that the flooding could reach a commuter railroad depot and the stadium where the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League play. Some restaurants and bars close to the river were closed.

About 1,500 guests at the Gaylord Opryland Resort, which sits alongside the Cumberland, were forced to leave the hotel overnight. They were taken by bus to a high school on higher ground. Gaylord Entertainment, which owns the hotel, said on its web site that it would probably be closed for several months because of damage from the floodwaters.

One of the city’s two sewage treatment plants was submerged by floodwaters. Mayor Karl Dean asked Nashville residents to cut their water use in half or risk contamination of the city’s drinking water. He asked residents to curtail all use of water except for that needed for drinking and cooking.

Bus service in Nashville was suspended because the system’s headquarters were severely flooded. Electric power was cut off to some downtown buildings, including the Symphony Center and the Pinnacle Financial Center. All told, about 14,000 customers were without power in the city of 626,000 people, the second-largest in Tennessee, which is home to Vanderbilt University and other colleges and is a major regional center for health care, banking and transportation as well as music.

“There’s a lot to be done, but we’ll get it done,” Mayor Dean said at an afternoon press conference to update residents on the flooding.

Police Chief Ronal W. Serpas said that of the six storm-related deaths recorded in Nashville, two victims found in their homes, two were in cars, and two were outdoors.

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