Flood survivor says thank you to Nashville - WSMV Channel 4

Flood survivor says thank you to Nashville

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Owen Grimenstein has written a book recalling the May 2010 flood. (WSMV) Owen Grimenstein has written a book recalling the May 2010 flood. (WSMV)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Owen Grimenstein has every reason to hate the Harpeth River, but he chooses not to.

“I still love the river. I like to see it from a distance,” Grimenstein laughed. “I like looking at the river from afar, coming and visiting it, then going away from it.”

In May 2010, the rivers took over and ran over Nashville. Some 11,000 homes were damaged or destroyed, including 1,000 in Grimenstein’s neighborhood, Bellevue.

“We lost just about everything. We were technically homeless for a year,” he said.

Grimenstein, his wife and their 1-year-old child stayed with neighbors at five different homes over the next year.

With so much firsthand knowledge, Grimenstein, a Fairview school teacher, decided to write about it.

“I want people to know what happened in Nashville and the surrounding area,” he said.

Under Water: A Natural Disaster Memoir is flooded with surprisingly positive memories.

“I want people of Nashville and beyond to know what Nashville went through, but also what Nashville did in the aftermath,” Grimenstein said.

The rising water never destroyed things like neighborhood clean-ups, free food, housing and hospitality. Grimenstein said his book is a thank you note.

“I want to pay them back by showing how thankful I am for them, how thankful I am to be in Nashville and how much they helped,” he said.

Under Water: A Natural Disaster Memoir is available at several local bookstores, including Parnassus Books, and on Amazon.

The Nashville flood caused $2 billion in private property damage. It was the worst economic disaster in Tennessee history.

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