The Other Disaster Down South
A reader writes:
Forget the gulf for a moment, but only for a moment. Have you noticed what happened to Nashville this weekend? The town is in ruin, thousands displaced, 28 dead and counting. A 1000 year flood according to TVA and no one in the national media cares. Sigh.
Since you are a vocal proponent of the usefulness and impact of social media - in some cases being far greater than that of the mainstream media - I thought you should know that the same has been true during this weekend's flooding in middle Tennessee.
While we experienced 25% of our average annual rainfall in two days, the Cumberland River continues to rise, entire neighborhoods (including half of my own) are underwater and Naomi Judd's buffalo are running wild (...yes, really). The Weather Channel is the only cable outlet covering this (though I think we've gotten a couple seconds on CNN and MSNBC). Local news has been strong, from what I watched, but several stations had to evacuate their newsrooms due to flooding downtown, and even NPR has been off-air today because of power loss.
Meanwhile #nashvilleflood, #othersituation2010, #nashlantis and other tags have been outstanding compilations of pictures, eyewitness reports and volunteer coordination. In particular local blog Nashvillest (@nashvillest) and @NashTraffic have gone to heroic efforts to keep even those of us without power but with smartphones apprised of road floodings/closings, shelter lists and other important and up-to-date information that has been invaluable through the storm. Perhaps most importantly, though, it made those of us who could follow and contribute on computer or phone feel like more of a community than watching television ever could.