May 6th, 2010
08:36 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Nashville Rising

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2010/05/us/gallery.large.nashville.flooding/images/nashville.flooding1.gi.jpg caption="Nashville residents paddle down a flooded street on Sunday, May 2, after heavy rains. (Photo by John Rives)" width=416 height=234]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

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.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Robert of California

    The Grand Ole Opry has given us so much entertainment and history of blue grass, country, and blues music, and don't forget our beloved personalities (Minnie Pearl, etc). We can send the Opry one of our good guitars to keep them going as an appreciation for all whom have graced the stage of the Opry and given us so much love!

    Most of my Grandparents and Dad were born in Tennessee, except me and my Mother whom were born in California. I have yet to see the Opry except on TV but anxious to go now more than ever, once they rebuild her.

    I will be sending the opry my electric guitar as a token of my appreciation. They can continue to play and sing some more great music. If they don't find use for all the guitars maybe they can give them to some good schools for young folks to learn music...

    (Amateur "ham" Radio Operator)

    May 7, 2010 at 4:20 am |
  2. Dian

    I can understand the delay in national coverage; there were newsbits that have much broader reach. Maybe that's why Tennesseans jumped to begin helping ourselves right away. The Volunteer state doesn't do entitlement and "me first" thinking. We know there are national priorities, and we're full of local resources to fill the gaps.

    Still, thank you for covering the story, and thank you to all who have contributed to relief and recovery efforts with donations and helping hands.

    Taxpayer note: FEMA is something I never expected to count on, but they're here, and "they" are you. A special thanks to you.

    May 7, 2010 at 3:05 am |
  3. Max

    Anderson! Thank you so much for bringing attention to a much needed subject! You are truly a Godsend for helping bring awareness to what is going on in Nashville. THANK YOU!

    May 7, 2010 at 2:51 am |
  4. Schuylar

    Thank you for not speaking unkind words, but for speaking words of wisdom and hope.


    May 7, 2010 at 2:06 am |
  5. kevin henderson

    Many americans are drawn to help less fortunate countries like Haiti that have disasters. Please remember we have fellow americans, of every nationality suffering right here at home. Nashville is a wonderful place to live and work. Many people have lost every thing they own. Lets turn our help to our own who need it before we look else where. This city is very close to running out of water. Thousands are homeless, these are hard working americans that need their brothers and sisters to come to their aid. Won't you?

    May 7, 2010 at 1:33 am |
  6. TJones

    Thank you Anderson for coming to our city and covering the devastation in Nashville!

    Anderson, In my world...YOU ROCK!!!

    May 7, 2010 at 1:17 am |
  7. Blair

    Thank you for sharing our story. We are getting help from FEMA and for that we are grateful; however, we have been told by FEMA, reporting on local news stations, that the maximum amount a household can get is $30,000. Which is quite a sum of money, but when adding the cost of rebuilding, furnishings, and household items it does not seem to add up. This area will need help for some time to come.

    May 7, 2010 at 12:56 am |
  8. Stacey

    I live in Nashville and have never been prouder of my community! Thank you for coming and showing what a wonderful city we have & calling attention to the damage caused. Thank you everyone for your thoughts and prayers during this time. I will continue to pray for those who lost loved ones & their homes.

    May 7, 2010 at 12:32 am |
  9. sandra

    It's no wonder it's called the Volunteer State! 😉

    May 7, 2010 at 12:28 am |
  10. CL

    On another note, did anyone else find it odd that the "President" called Brad Paisley, but has yet to issue a statement to the people of Nashville? Disgraceful.

    May 7, 2010 at 12:23 am |
  11. Tricia

    Thank you for the thoughtful coverage of the flood in Nashville. Because it is Nashville it is easy to highlight the work of its famous residents but the neighborhood organizations and individual neighbors are the backbone of this city. I am on 2 neighborhood listserves. When calls went out for help the responses were overwhelming. Some people are not be able to write a fat check or tear out drywall so they step up with food, transportation, dry beds and hot meals, or a soft shoulder to cry on. And yes our famous residents do roll up their sleeves and get dirty with the rest of us. That is the beauty of Nashville.

    May 7, 2010 at 12:19 am |
  12. Shelly

    Thanks for coming to Nashville!!

    May 7, 2010 at 12:13 am |
  13. Lynn

    I had the opportunity to personally meet you today as you and your CNN crew came by the townhome where our church group was working. Thank you so much for your concern and empathy for the many victims of this horrible disaster.

    May 7, 2010 at 12:09 am |
  14. jean

    thank you anderson for covering the tn flood. i live in fl but am from clarksville, tn and have family there. thank God they are ok.i was struck by the cross in background. i believe in God with all my heart and believe He is sending all people a message with all the events that are happening..we need to pay attention...when you were in Haiti, there was a cross from one of the churches standing tall. GOD bless all...

    May 7, 2010 at 12:09 am |
  15. Kay

    Thank you for coming!!!

    May 7, 2010 at 12:06 am |
  16. Phillip from Murfreesboro

    Wheres President Obama???

    May 6, 2010 at 11:57 pm |
  17. CL

    Nashville is a great city. We love our people, our city, our state, our land. Please pray for all of the farmers who lost crops, cattle, their whole livelyhood and their homes. That's a double whammy. Please pray for Avalon Acres Farm. They are a CSA and important to our community. They lost everything too.
    Thank you Anderson Cooper for your thoughtful, and panoramic coverage of the devestation. Thank you for bringing our struggle into the homes and hearts of America.
    God bless you.

    May 6, 2010 at 11:57 pm |
  18. Jared in Nashville

    Way to go, Anderson! Thanks for coming to Nashville and telling America about what happened, the interviews and the synopsis were great. Opryland Hotel, Downtown, Franklin, Clarksville, Centerville, etc were hit so hard, I don't believe you can make them all. I hope your stay convinces you that Nashville is America's finest.

    I'll say, what you saw in Bellevue is going on all over the city.

    May 6, 2010 at 11:54 pm |
  19. T Woods

    The people of Bellevue have been unbelievable in helping their neighbors. The follow up story for Anderson is what happens next? In the one neighborhood (River Plantation)–there are roughly 700 homes that have been completely destroyed. While volunteers have helped to remove all the stuff...how long will these people have to wait for inspections, contractor bids, etc...Additionally, many of the residents of River Plantation are senior citizens and retirees –without flood insurance they don't have the funds to rebuild their homes. As a small business owner in these neighborhoods we have done all we can. If the flood waters didn't take us under the future of this area's economy will.

    May 6, 2010 at 11:52 pm |
  20. Leslie

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for coming to our beautiful city and telling our story. I know you had to focus from one place, but all over the state the stories you have shown tonight are replayed. So many folks are out of their homes and even those who didn't have a drop of water in their home are now without their livelihood as businesses are devastated. Oh yes, we are the volunteer state, and I am so proud of our community and the character of the citizens. We are eternally grateful to our local neighbors and those from out of state.

    We don't want a hand out, we just need hands to come work along side us as we try to rebuild. Thank you, Anderson Cooper, for shining a light on our state so others are aware of the need and thank you for doing it so respectfully. God Bless.

    May 6, 2010 at 11:42 pm |
  21. Sally Kilgore

    Great coverage, I live in hills southeast of Nashville..used to live near Bellevue. Here's the central question that should concern all Americans: When were the assessments of where flood plains exist established? Many Bellevue residents said they were not allowed to purchase flood insurance because they did not live in a flood plain. One young residence reported that she went to official maps to verify before purchasing 2 months ago. If these markers were set more than 5-10 years ago, they fail to take into account the rapid growth...and thus asphalt, etc....this could also explain Atlanta surprise. This is REALLY an important question for areas having experience rapid growth. My bet is that these flood plain estimates are over 10 years old! Go for it! Please!

    May 6, 2010 at 11:33 pm |
  22. Krista

    Thank you, Anderson Cooper, for finally coming to Nashville and giving us the attention we need.

    May 6, 2010 at 11:32 pm |
  23. jill

    I hope that kind woman finds her precious Lab,Ben..I hope she checked ALL the shelters..If any dog can swim miles,it would be a Lab..I hope he is found very soon!

    May 6, 2010 at 11:29 pm |
  24. C. Bateman- Nashville

    Thank you for supporting TWO amazing stories- a flood that has submerged a great city and the spirit of Nashville that will overcome it. THANKS!

    May 6, 2010 at 11:12 pm |
  25. AmandaTN

    Thank you, thank you for doing this story of our flood. We were feeling forgotten down here but you have shined a light on the need and the volunteerism of our residents.

    May 6, 2010 at 11:07 pm |
  26. Monica

    The people of Tennessee are just amazing. They are not standing around waiting for someone to put something in their hands. Their hands are busy helping each other. But just the same, they need help for replacing things lost. I know there are people who could use a fema trailer. There were lots of mobile homes washed off their blocks.

    May 6, 2010 at 10:44 pm |
  27. James Ko

    I pray for Nashville, pray for everyone in Nashville. I wish this flood to be disappeared immediately and return the city a fresh and beautiful living environment.

    May 6, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
  28. Annie Kate

    The people of Tennessee are good, stalwart people who do not shrink from helping themselves and helping others even if their own need is greater. Without flood insurance recovery will be hard and unfortunately expensive but with some help they'll all rise again.

    The report on how things are in Alaska two decades after the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster will be interesting to see. Hopefully, the Gulf states and the Gulf wildlife and ecosystems can continue to avoid a big disaster with this oil spill, especially if BP gets the spill capped off soon. I'm looking forward to the program tonight – the oil spill and Nashville in my home state will both be stories that matter to me.

    May 6, 2010 at 9:39 pm |