Flooding causes power outages in Nashville

By Pat Harris

NASHVILLE, Tenn., May 4 (BestGrowthStock) – Flooding overwhelmed
utilities in downtown Nashville on Tuesday, knocking out power
and water service to thousands, after weekend storms were
blamed for more than two dozen deaths.

“Power will be out for the next few days downtown due to
water in underground vaults,” the city’s mayor, Karl Dean, said
in a statement. He said 3,500 customers were without
electricity.

The Cumberland River burst its banks and submerged several
city blocks in Nashville’s downtown tourist district in
sewage-tainted water.

Flooding that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers called a
“1,000-year event” also inundated sites such as the Grand Ole
Opry entertainment and hotel complex, the football stadium, and
one of two water plants serving the city of 626,000 people.

Mayor Dean asked residents to halve water usage, the city’s
bus service was shut down, and schools were closed for a second
day since more than a foot (30 cm) of rain fell over the
weekend on parts of Tennessee, Mississippi and Kentucky.

Tennessee reported 19 storm-related deaths, including one
from a tornado, Mississippi had six deaths and Kentucky two.

Thousands of people had to be evacuated, many by boat, and
road closures were common.

Davidson County, which includes Nashville, postponed
Tuesday’s scheduled election primary for two weeks because of
the flooding.

Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen declared disasters in 52
of the state’s 95 counties.

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee said the region
will get help from the federal government, dismissing
suggestions that the Gulf oil spill would divert resources.

“The oil spill is being handled primarily by the oil
industry. The federal people can’t do that. Federal folk
usually get in early on something like floods. But it’s just
saddening to me to see this situation,” he said.

The Cumberland River, which winds through Nashville,
crested late on Monday about 12 feet (3.7 metres) above flood
stage, but tributaries such as the Harpeth and Duck Rivers rose
to record levels.

The Army Corps said it had to release water into the
Cumberland from dams upstream to lower rain-swollen lakes.
Investing Tools

(Reporting by Pat Harris in Nashville and Andrew Stern in
Chicago; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

Flooding causes power outages in Nashville