• Doak Turner

FLOOD: May 1st, 2010

Updated: Aug 27, 2019

After watching the TV this weekend with Hurricane Irene – with The Weather Channel in the same room as I was working, I think back to May 1st weekend of 2010 in Nashville and the weeks after the 1,000 year flood, I remember watching the rain come down late Friday night, whenever cars and trucks would drive up Brook Hollow Road to the Stop sign, the water would rush over like mini falls to bring the water into the yard. Saturday morning it was still raining and I watched the local TV channels televising all day the floods in our great city.


A mile away on Charlotte Pike, watching a parking lot with a boat running, pickup trucks all jacked high going through the water,  businesses and homes being destroyed due to the floods.


My landlord, Steven McClintock  calling after I sent him videos of the local Kroger parking lot looking like Niagra Falls going down the to parking garage and wine store, a car jacked up against that concrete wall and Harding Road a lake. Steven told me, “Do NOT unplug the sump pump downstairs. Well I had not ever unplugged it, did not know exactly which chord would unplug it anyway!


The bridge in the back yard had water to just below it, and I noticed for the first time how the driveway had a nice slope to take the water away from the house – thank goodness!


That Saturday, my friend, Guy Gilcrest,  who is the cartoonist for my favorite comic strip, NANCY did a cartoon featuring my website, Music Starts Here.org on Aunt Frizzy’s shirt. No one in Nashville noticed it as their Tennessean was soaked in their driveway that morning and we all had other things on our mind. I do have the drawing of the cartoon on my wall and the clip of the cartoon on my fridge.


Sunday was a quiet day to watch what was happening in town and preparing for the news of the river continuing to rise downtown and would eventually flood the entire downtown and Opryland, historic buildings and so many homes and businesses.

Monday we got word that Jan Dyer – a dear friend and songwriter best known for her Kenny Rogers and Dottie West song, Every Time Two Fools Collide – Jan’s condo had 56 inches of water in it.


I helped reach out via Face Book and e-mails and others joined in to meet at Jan’s and completely take out almost everything she owned to the street in Bellevue.  12 to 15 songwriters and friends worked all day and the next day, we drew a line 6 inches below the ceiling and knocked out the walls, scrapped up the floors and took everything to the corner – tough time in the neighborhood – so much everyone had worked for – all at the street corner.


A day later, Scott and Brittany and Jude, came back from West Virginia to their beautiful Pennington Bend home, and their garage was flooded, destroying their car and Harley Davidson along with other items in the garage. Their living room was flooded from the water coming into the crawl space, weighing down the insulation and breaking the water pipe, shooting the water into their living room floor. Their furniture was on feet/legs, so it was OK.


The Saturday, Jerry and Jason along with Butch and Penny came down to help clean the garage. My friend Kate and her friend, Connie – who is in the ARMY also joined in to help clean up. Connie – being Mr. Detail, took the job of cleaning all of Scott’s tools, drill bits and all those items, putting oil on them to get rid of the rust that was forming.


We worked that day and I remember about 5:00 a truck going up the street from Outback Steaks – giving way nice prime rib and steak dinners. Other organizations were giving water, cleaning items and offering help. Our Community rose to the occasion and helped put back the pieces. Scott and Brittany stayed with me a day or two and Brittany flew up to be with her parents to Wisconsin and Scott stayed that week until the house was OK to sleep in and they eventually laid a beautiful wood floor in the house. 


I ended up in early December being paid – working with Suzanne Skinner to be paid to act like me and about 10 other friends worked at Opryland as they had a grand reopening and we all had waiter outfits on, walking though and also outside as the turned on the Christmas lights to celebrate the season. The song to the tune of Smoke on the Water was changed to Doak is a Waiter.


A year and a half later, people in Nashville are still building back and the community that did not wait on government help – but worked together showed another reason why I love Nashville!



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