NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The March rain left homes flooded with water, and although Middle Tennessee has since dried up, some families are still without power over a week later.
The Harding Place Condominium was one of many communities hit hard by the storm. The night it hit, water started filling into homes.
“It just kind of happened out of nowhere,” remembered Sasha Hudgens, “it sounded like any other rain, storm, and at about 12:30 I got a knock on my door and someone saying people are moving their cars to the gas station.”
Hudgens lives in the complex with her 9-year old daughter, and since the storm hit, she says numerous non-profit organizations have been out to help.
However, she says while the donations are needed, what she needs the most is power inside her home.
“They gave us 5 minutes to go pack our belongings before they were shutting our lights off. They told us we couldn’t stay here, that there were going to be buses taking us to hotels,” explained Hudgens.
The Hudgens family is one of more than 40 families who live in the complex, who hasn’t had power for the past week. While the storm came on Sunday, March, 28, it wasn’t until Wednesday, March 31, when residents were told due to electricity problems, the buildings were unsafe to live in, and N.E.S. would be shutting off the power.
The Hudgens along with several other residents are now living at the Vista Inn in Hermitage.
“It was like the scariest five minutes, scrambling into my place trying to grab what I could because in your mind you’re not thinking ‘oh I can come back tomorrow and get more clothes,’ it was just ‘we have to go,'” said Hudgens.
Councilwoman Courtney Johnston has been at the condo complex almost every day since the storm hit. She says the problem is that many of the units are connected by the same wires, and with the water reaching electrical outlets in some of the units, danger could be just a plug away.
“When people started talking about plugging in space heaters because it was getting really really cold that night, my stomach just went in knots and I thought this is going to be dangerous,” said Johnston, Metro Nashville District 26.
Johnston explains right now individual owners have to contact an electrician to ensure each unit is safe before the power can be turned back on.
However, that can become difficult because multiple units are owned by different people.
“You pull and permit, you get the work done, we get re-inspected, we get the power back on, but getting that message out to so many different people, and we’ve got property owners that don’t live in the state,” explained Johnston.
Johnston says she understands and feels for the residents living in the community. She says there is currently an ordnance that would reimburse owners the cost of pulling a permit.
Since the power has been cut off, residents have been going back and forth trying to remove damaged items from inside the home. Debris has been piling up outside, but there is some light in this dark situation.
Since last Wednesday, non-profits have been in contact with residents on a daily basis, helping to provide food, water, and ensure every family had somewhere to live.
List of Non-Profits who helped with recovery:
- Otter Creek Church of Christ
- The Nashville Red Cross
- Mother to Mother
- Nashville Noticias
- Crieve Hall Bagel Company
- Yogis Pizzeria
- Una Esperanza Viva West
- Crieve Hall Women’s League
- The Goodness Project
- The Nashville Preds
- Harpeth Hills Church of Christ