CEO says it will be months before Opryland reopens - WKRN News 2

CEO says it will be months before Opryland reopens


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It will likely be at least three months before the Grand Ole Opry House, Opryland and Opry Mills Mall has guests again.

The massive entertainment complex five miles northeast of Lower Broadway flooded over the weekend after storms dropped more than 13 inches of rain in Nashville and the Cumberland River, which winds through the city, spilled over its banks.

The Grand Ole Opry, the most famous country music show in the world, had to move its performances and performer Marty Stuart said he feared water had destroyed instruments, costumes, audio tapes, boots and "just everything that goes along with the Opry and Opry stars."

Rita Helms, a customer service representative at the Opry, said some workers have been distraught.

"It's very sad for the employees and a few have even been in tears," she said.

The flash floods, which were blamed for the deaths of at least 18 people statewide, including nine in Nashville, has also quieted the city's famed honky-tonk district.

While the water has since receded and peaks of grass could be seen at Riverfront Park Wednesday morning, several businesses have had to shut down, a blow to the city's economy, and some areas of downtown could be without power until later this week.

Some entertainment venues weren't damaged, including the former home of the Grand Ole Opry, the 118-year-old Ryman Auditorium.  A Barenaked Ladies concert there next Monday is still scheduled.

On the other side of the river, LP Field, the home of the Tennessee Titans, was drying out and the Titans' logo could once again be seen from the air.

The four-day CMA Music Festival will be held at the stadium in five weeks.

The production of country music in the city also seems have survived unscathed.

Music Row, an approximately four-square block area that houses recording studios, record labels, song publishing companies and others on the business side of the music industry is a mile from the river and wasn't flooded.

The flood waters swelled most of the area's lakes, minor rivers, creeks, streams and drainage systems far beyond capacity.

Much of that water then drained into the Cumberland.

The weekend's storms that spawned tornadoes along with flash flooding also killed six people in Mississippi and four in Kentucky.

One person was killed by a tornado in western Tennessee.

*The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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