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Tennessee flood

PostPosted: May 7, 2010 8:55 pm
by Ernie Coffman
:off topic: I know, I know, but was wondering if anyone has heard how cavers are doing down in the Nashville area. This video is something else, which shows the devasation which they claim is the worst or second worst, since the Civil War. :yikes:

Re: Tennessee flood

PostPosted: May 8, 2010 6:19 am
by Squirrel Girl
Here are some Youtube videos of TN cave entrances:

Snail Shell (normally a stream entrance)

Cow Crap (normally a diveable, static flooded sinkhole)

Darnell's (normally dry)

Tennessee flood

PostPosted: May 8, 2010 9:25 am
by Ernie Coffman
Thanks Barb, for sharing those three videos of what the storm has done back in Tennessee. :cavingrocks: but for awhile, I wouldn't think. That's what you really call being inundated at the entrances. :doh:

Re: Tennessee flood

PostPosted: May 10, 2010 6:30 am
by joestewart
Thank you for asking.

Unfortunately we had a few members that were hit especially hard by the flood. Cecile James ( 27171) and Larry Matthews ( 6792) are unable to live in their homes now.

Cecile and Joel James are familiar faces on vendors row at caving conventions. She operates B&C Wunderwear ( They are currently staying with another local caver. Here is a a link to video of Cecile's home and interview with her: ... 3637.shtml

Larry and Betty Matthews are staying with family members. Also a familiar name here on Cavechat, Larry is the author of quite a few books on Caves.

A few more links:

If you can make a donation to our members in need - ... to-members

If you would like to contact them or are in the area and can volunteer, use our contact form -

Re: Tennessee flood

PostPosted: May 10, 2010 8:27 am
by Crockett
Experts say this is the worst disaster ever in Nashville, far worse than the Civil War.

Re: Tennessee flood

PostPosted: May 10, 2010 11:18 am
by Dave Wascher
Thank you for all of your concerns. Nashville has been a crazy place this past week. I had a few inches of flood water in my basement on Sunday, but had wonderful help getting things up and out. My mess was nothing compared to what others have faced this week. Had to take a break in my clean up to bring a crew over to help one of my employees that had 2 feet of flooding. We gutted her house in one day, including drywall removal and ripping up the vinyl flooring.
Larry Matthews had similar help at his place. He had 4 feet of water. They pulled the drywall and insulation for the entire condominium complex. He said you could stand on one side and look all the way down through peoples' houses. He was in good spirits despite the severity of the damage, and the harrowing events.
Cecile James will lose her historic house. She had over 10 feet of water rip through the house which is also her business. She had a lot of stuff that cavers found for her that had been washed down the creek. Some of it was in trees 30 feet or more in the air! She ended up having a lot of stuff, but everything had been soaked in flood water. She had a good crew of cavers to help out, and probably around 50 people from Hands on Nashville over the course of three days to clean, sort, and move stuff. Not much is still left at her house. I think she will have it all done today, probably before I finish this post, but she will be cleaning and sorting things at Mike Moser's house for months! She had three large trailer loads, and several pickup loads of dirty, smelly, stuff that we hauled over there.
How can you help? We DON'T need any water. People came from everywhere with water, food, and to help haul stuff out of houses. Unlike some disasters, the flooding only happened in parts of neighborhoods all over the area. People down the street that didn't get flooded came out to help. In many cases, it brought together people from the community that had not met each other yet.
It will take a long time for people to get back on their feet. Many are staying with friends, but lost all of their personal items. The Nashville Grotto got money to Larry and Cecile as soon as we could so they could take care of those immediate needs. We also brought over a few basic supplies; soap, toothbrushes, shampoo, etc. Cecile's son, Joel, told us that all he really wanted was a clock radio, so we got him one. We also picked up a few more items that we knew they would like. It was good to have a couple things that weren't covered in mud!
The Nashville Grotto has set up a PayPal account so we can collect cash to be delivered to both families. It will take them a while to get back on their feet, and they can spend the cash on what they need instead of getting a bunch more "stuff" to deal with. If you know either of them personally, I'm sure they could use some help cleaning and restarting their lives.
I don't feel comfortable posting contact information here, but check the NSS manual or contact me directly if you want me to get a message to them. Larry has been able to check email, and Cecile is currently staying at Mike Moser's house. I think she plans to find a place to rent soon. As far as I know, neither currently have a working cell phone.
To donate money to Larry and Cecile's families through PayPal, follow this link:

Dave Wascher
Nashville Grotto Chair