Thursday, May 5, 2011
My kid's school made NBC's Nightly News the other night, not for being insanely adorable, which it is, but for being mere feet away from the rising flood waters in downtown Memphis. Caleb was part of a volunteer effort to fill sandbags as a last ditch effort to protect my daughter's classroom. The bags are in place. Concerned parents pass along news and gossip on Facebook.
But all we can do now is wait.
The days are warm and sunny. We stretched out on a blanket underneath an impressive oak tree in our front yard, Harlow gathering dandelions and Declan snoozing on the porch. It would have been a magical afternoon if not for the increasingly grim reality that our poor city is about to take another beating.
The river is forecasted to crest next Wednesday at 48 feet - the same level as the devastating flood of 1937 - while others are speculating it may yet reach as high as 50. In any case, it's not looking good for large chunks of downtown. We are fortunate to have had extensive warnings and time to prepare; no lives will be lost, just massive property damage. We will regroup and rebuild. We end each day watching the increasingly depressing roundup of catastrophic damage in the south, of homes swallowed, roads submerged, news reporters speeding around surreal, flooded neighborhoods in bass boats, and we are heartbroken for them - and yes - grateful that our home, our families have been spared.
Nonetheless, it is personal. It is difficult to sit by helplessly and watch the water slowly but surely advance on my daughter's school, a place that has become increasingly special to her and my entire family. All we can do is hope and pray that the damage - if it occurs - won't be catastrophic.
So please keep the city, really, the mid-South - in your thoughts. We could use all that positive energy.
And because I am loathe to end this week on such a downer note, funny dog!