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Anderson Cooper toured Nashville with country music stars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill to survey the damage and see how the locals are salvaging their belongings and putting their lives back together.
Tonight on 360°, Anderson reports live from Nashville where residents are cleaning up after a historic flood. Plus, NFL Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor accused of rape and more.
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The death toll from last weekend's storm has risen to 21 in Tennessee. State residents are cleaning up from massive flooding. Anderson will be reporting from hard-hit Nashville tonight, where at least 9 people were killed and two men are still missing.
"This is something that is going to be a personal tragedy for an awful lot of people," Nashville Mayor Karl Dean said at a news conference late this afternoon. Dean expects damage to top $1 billion dollars in Nashville alone.
"A lot of people who didn't have flood insurance, because they never thought flood waters would ever come anywhere near their home, are really looking at a total loss of their home," Gov. Phil Bredesen told CNN this morning. "It's very tough on a lot of people right now."
Nashville's historic and cultural landmarks also took a hit. The Country Music Hall of Fame, the Grand Ole Opry and Opryland Resort were all damaged in the flooding.
But there is good news. The Music Hall of Fame is expected to reopen this weekend. Other businesses are already open.
The water is falling. Nashville is rising.
Almost everywhere you look people are rebuilding. Strangers are helping strangers. We'll bring you the stories of the flood tonight – the hope and the heartache. We felt this story shouldn't be ignored. People are in need. We'll let you know how you can help.
For tonight's "Big 360° Interview" Anderson talked with Faith Hill and Tim McGraw. The husband and wife country superstars show what has happened to their city and share why they are so proud of the people of Nashville. Anderson will also talk with country music star Brad Paisley and others.
We're also tracking the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Coast Guard crews report oil hit Louisiana's barrier islands today. That's the first confirmation of landfall. Meantime, workers are prepared to lower a massive containment vessel over the underwater well leaking 210,000 galloons of oil a day into the Gulf. The goal is that container will collect the leaking oil, which will then be sucked up to a ship on the surface. Getting the vessel in place could take several days and it's unclear if it will work, since it's never been done at this depth of about 5,000 feet.
The Gulf crisis got us wondering about how the people impacting by the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster are doing all these years later. Two decades ago, the Exxon Valdez tanker leaked 11 million gallons of crude and left 1,500 miles of Alaska coastline blackened. Birds, sea life and the people of the area were devastated. CNN's Dan Simon has an update tonight from and shows us what life is like now along Prince William Sound.
Join us for these stories and much more starting at 10 p.m. ET. See you then.
Most of us have wondered which of our things we would rescue from our homes in an emergency. Jewelery? Documents? A lot of people say they'd grab their photo albums.
As Gary Tuchman and I toured a badly-hit area of Nashville today with a search and rescue team, one particular sight brought home the astonishing speed with which the flood waters gushed into this region: we saw a couple crouched in their driveway, laying out photos to dry. They hadn't even had time to save them when they evacuated, but it looked like the photos were one of the first things they came back for.
You actually have to hunt really hard to find any flood water in Nashville today. When the water came, it came fast – rushing in to 12 feet above the normal level – but when it left, it went pretty quickly too. If you find a patch, watch it for an hour you can see the level drop.
Heavy storms that have battered the Southeast since the weekend have caused at least 28 deaths, 19 of them in Tennessee.
The rain has been especially cruel to Tennessee, swelling rivers to historic levels, turning roads to lakes and flooding landmarks such as the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.
Parts of Tennessee had been so damaged by the floods that President Obama declared them major disaster areas, a designation that makes federal funding available to affected residents.
How you can help...
To find out how you can make a difference and help provide relief for the flood victims in Tennessee, visit our Impact Your World page.
CNN Wire Staff
Faisal Shahzad, the suspect in the attempted bombing of Times Square, was heading for Pakistan - where he was born - when he was arrested late Monday night.
His family originally comes from a village near Peshawar in Pakistan.
Pakistan's western areas, along the border with Afghanistan, have been a haven for Islamist radicals for years, despite efforts to bring it under control.
Shahzad told the FBI he trained at a terrorism camp in the Waziristan region of Pakistan, a U.S. administration official told CNN. However, the official said investigators have nothing to corroborate his account.