Tag: historic flood
Eerie silence, heavy fog and the whisper of rolling water lent a surreal atmosphere to the Riverside Drive area late Sunday evening. In the two Rivers Mall Parking lot, flood waters had overtaken a U.S. Bank ATM machine, and a panel truck sat partially submerged. Two trees in full leaf were mirror-imaged in the water and fog.
The day’s heavy traffic, primarily “rubberneckers” checking out the rising water, had dwindled to a stray car or two, gas and water company workers, highway department crews and police who were monitoring this record-breaking flood.
At the R.J. Corman railroad bridge, the Cumberland breached Riverside Drive, the first eddies heading to the median. By morning, most of Riverside Drive is expected to be underwater. The National Weather Service has extended the flood warning for the Cumberland at Clarksville through May 7. The NWS said that by 10 p.m., the Cumberland had hit 55.9 feet with cresting expected to come at approximately 57 feet.
“Major flooding is occurring and major flooding is forecast,” the report indicated. “Flood stage is 46 feet; at 49 feet both banks begin overflowing and secondary roads along the river will be submerged.” Those numbers are history and a new hundred-year, or perhaps 500-year flood is about to change the record books.
In McDonald’s at the corner of Riverside Drive and North Second Street, an elderly gentleman had to recall the year 1927 to come anywhere near the current flooding.
Only a handful of stores along the river remained open Sunday night, and in a few of those stores employees were bagging up products and placing them as high as possible on shelves and counters.
At the Water Company substation on Riverside Drive, an employee was unsure just how the water would get but was pretty sure it would be “another couple of feet. We’ll just have to see.”
Convergy’s employee Regina Hampton “couldn’t believe what was happening.”
“At first, Convergy’s said we would end the day at 6 p.m.; then it was 3 p.m. At 2 p.m. the water was coming up the parking lot in back and they sent us home. That never happens.” Hampton has worked for Convergy’s for over a year and was both fascinated and concerned about her job. At 11 p.m. Sunday night, after a phone call from a friend, she drove to the mall to see the flooding for herself.
As Business Clarksville staff drove slowly along Riverside Drive, the headlights caught the reddish brown waters lapping at the roadside even as a steady strong current kept moving debris along the edges.
Austin Peay State University, which is in the midst of final exams, had the following notice posted online: “We realize that some students may be unable to return to campus safely, because of the extreme weather conditions that we are experiencing. If you find yourself unable to attend your final exam, please contact your professor prior to the exam so that appropriate arrangements can be made.” — Tristan Denley, Provost APSU