The tragic flooding of the Cumberland River in Nashville has taken a toll on the city’s country music scene, with both landmarks and artists being affected as the waters rose after storms that killed 22 people in the Southeast over the weekend. The river is expected to crest today at 11 feet over the flood line; sadly, more damage is expected.
The venerable Grand Ole Opry has been forced to relocate shows for the first time since 1975, due to water damage at its Opryland complex. You can see some photos of the scene on the Opry’s Facebook page, linked here. No confirmation is available on the exact damage to the Opry House itself, though sources say there’s three feet of water covering the stage — UPDATE: Nashvillest posted a heartbreaking photo on their Twitter account (thanks, commenter Janna) – and ten feet of floodwater filled the Opryland Hotel yesterday. Although the Ryman Auditorium downtown is safe (and will host one of the relocated Opry shows this week), the bars and clubs on 2nd Avenue are underwater, as is Sommet Center Bridgestone Arena, home to the annual CMA and CMT Awards shows. Across the street, the Country Music Hall of Fame reports five feet of water in a mechanical room, and some damage to a theater in their building. The Tennessean is posting updates to venue closings, as well as fundraising efforts already underway.
The Schermerhorn Symphony Center, home to the Nashville Symphony, has 15 feet of water in the basement putting instruments at risk; they’ve reportedly already lost two pianos and their organ. (The flooding of symphonies is a tragedy that hits particularly close to home for your blogger.)