Monday, May 10, 2010

River Plantation-2010 relief efforts

Our volunteering efforts for Saturday were a huge success. We loaded the van with hundreds of cases of water, sandwiches, cookies, toiletries, cleaning supplies and stuffed animals for the kiddos.
We arrived in River Plantation subdivision around nine thirty Saturday morning. This subdivision is located in Bellevue, TN and is one of the hardest hit areas from flood waters. The main entrance to the subdivision was barricaded off by metro police, ensuring that the traffic was not there to rubber neck. The devastation is incomprehensible. The streets are lined with worldly possessions, antiques, furniture, insulation, drywall, mattresses, appliances, clothes and piles of debris.

Every single home in this area had a minimum of three feet of water in their homes, and several had up to eight feet of water. The debris lined streets go on for more than two miles. The smell of sewage, wet drywall, wet rubble, and dampness is indescribable and unforgettable. Helicopters buzzing in the air, police directing traffic, Green Serve pro company trucks parked everywhere for flood relief support, and crime scene yellow tape strung everywhere. I felt like I was driving in slow motion into the twilight zone.

Every home had their entire lives on the front lawn.
The streets lined with debris for miles

As we drove into the first neighborhood the carports were lined with cars destroyed by flood waters, filled with left over condensation, mud and garbage. Clothes hanging out to dry, boxes with the few remaining items that could be salvaged and wet waste everywhere.

This family had the courage and the pride to hang their mud stained flag a top their dilapidated carport, showing their strength and TN spirit to all. Nothin like the south, ya'll!

The sidewalks were littered with trash bags, insulation, appliances, mattresses, pictures, accessories, books, and furniture.

Miles of flotsam and jetsam scattered along the road ways as people try to put back their lives. This car shown above, destroyed by flood water, seeping condensation, broken windows and filled with dust and rubble, stalled and no longer running.
This is now Bellevue's reality. Although I feel my efforts were a needle in the haystack compared to the vast damage, I was able to help folks box up their items, provide them with a little water, and help them move their stuff. My biggest contribution was my company van. We were able to load peoples belongings into the van and get the items to local storage units. Most people lost 80% of what they own, but had no way of getting the 20% out of ground zero. 
Thanks to all who came out, and thanks to everyone who made sandwiches, cookies, and helped folks box up their items. All in all it was a good day, and while our efforts were small, I think we accomplished a little relief, and helped with the overwhelming stress and disbelief of this event with a little TN volunteering.


  1. Very admirable to do what you've been doing. I'm sure your hard work is much appreciated. Can't believe the devastation! Thanks for opening our eyes up to this reality.

  2. How wonderful what you did.
    I can tell you that in the midst of something like that just having someone hand you that bottle of water or that sandwich is life saving.

  3. Amanda
    It's great of you to be lending a hand as the community tries to regroup. Our thoughts are with everyone as the long clean up and healing begins.

  4. Amanda,
    I don't really have anything profound to say. I just wanted to leave a comment so you know people are reading this. Thanks for continuing to show more pictures, since it's still missing from the news coverage.

  5. Thank you all for assisting there. I lived in Bellevue for years--it is tough to watch the videos of the damage.

  6. what a scene so desolate...You've done a very good thing for those people. It is admirable.

  7. Amanda,

    I am so sorry that your area has been so terribly affected by this tragedy. I can only say as a one who was affected by Katrina that I can completely and totally empathize with what you're experiencing. You are seeing so many different levels of how people were affected and regardless just being involved and in the area, it must be on your mind and heart daily, hourly...I am grateful to you as an outsider for all your efforts to offer relief and assistance. Sending prayers and blessings.

    You are a wonderful person, I am grateful to know someone as generous and caring as you are.

  8. wow! this is insane! losing all that stuff would have really been shocking! i am going to pray for these people!

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