RAJOTTE: I could have left my house, and I could have driven right down the hill and been drowned, because what I learned was on the corner of Temple and Highway 100, the water had risen to one foot below the traffic light, and that the whole parking lot of Publix and the surrounding area was covered in, in I don’t know how many feet of water, but, and then if I had turned left to Saint Henry’s, then I would have been in another situation because that was Old Harding Road and the whole area of Poplar Creek Row going to Rolling River, that was all underwater. So, there was really nowhere to go, and I’m glad I stayed home.
HERBST: You had brought a piece of paper in, you said you had some things highlighted and stuff. Feel free to-
RAJOTTE: OK, I will, yeah. I’ll just tell you the whole story and what happened in the days that followed. My neighbors next door decided to leave town, they were going to try to find a route to get to the interstate and so they left me their radio, which I was very grateful for, which didn’t really last because it was battery, and so it had run out in a few days, but I was able to hear some of the news that was going on, and one of the most tragic pieces of news was that a friend of mine had her father and stepmother who lived in River Plantation, the Formosas and she had called that morning and said to them, “Don’t leave your house, don’t go to church, stay home, I hear it’s really bad”, and she was out of town at the time, and they just decided they were gonna go to church, so he was backing down his driveway, and drove up a few feet or yards down the road when the water just kinda swallowed them up and he tried to go in reverse, but he couldn’t, and this young man was nearby and tried to swim over and try to release them, from the car, but he couldn’t , so they drowned. And that was just one of a number of tragic stories that occurred. Later on, about a year later, they named the bridge on Old Harding Road after the Formosas, and another person whose name I can’t remember, but that was a real tragedy. There were so many families in my parish and in Saint Henry’s Parish and, of course, other churches in this whole area that had so many, parishioners, members who were affected by the flood. Several couples that I know were in Europe, and got the phone call that their house was underwater and they came home, and one couple still isn’t back in the house, they decided to move out and move into a different place, and the house is just standing there, abandoned right now because they don’t know what to do with it and her husband has Alzheimer’s and they just don’t wanna deal with it right now, but there are a lot of friends of mine who were severely affected. My one friend, Sandy, lives in Riverwalk, and she had her grandchildren with her the night of the rains, on Saturday night, and she said they woke up about seven, six-thirty, seven in the morning, and she looked out, she saw that the water, the Harpeth river was way back in her yard, but way back, and she said it was rising, and it had gotten halfway up her backyard, so she quickly gathered her grandchildren and she told them to get in the car and she drove them to Joelton to get out of there, and when she returned a day or so later, the water had risen to five feet in her house, and she had prayed as she was leaving, she said, “God, please, don’t let the destruction affect my pictures of my family that are on the walls”.
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