OLD HICKORY, Tenn. (WTVF) — Nine years ago the 2010 floods rocked the Midstate. Rainstorms dropped down 17 inches of rain, leading to almost two dozen deaths and $2 billion in damage to Nashville alone.
Heather Brennan remembers the week and the months to follow vividly, even a decade later. She still lives in the Waterford neighborhood in Old Hickory.
"Our home being flooded was nowhere on the radar," Brennan said.
She remembers the start of the rain pouring down. She ran errands for hours as it fell.
Small concerns started to creep in that the only way in and out of her neighborhood would flood, stranding the family in the house. She decided to take her two daughters to stay with her mom, just to be safe. It wasn't until she checked in with a neighbor that she realized how serious the situation was.
"She said, 'we're flooded,' and I was like, 'what do you mean we're flooded?' Brennan recounted. "I was like, 'is the entrance way flooded over?' She said, 'the entrance way is flooded over. It's in our houses. We're flooded."
Brennan scooped up the kids and drove over to the neighborhood. That's when she saw the private lake at the entrance had completely flooded the road, making it impassable.
"I could just see, just water and I just knew," Brennan said. "I knew then, okay, this is not good."
At the first chance they could, a crew took her husband by boat over to the house to try to save some valuables.
"I wanted my grandmother’s ring. My oldest daughter’s an artist, so I wanted her artwork and we wanted our wedding photos. Those were the top three things that kept coming to my mind, Brennan said.
Her husband found the ring, artwork and photos, but nearly everything else was under water.
"He came back and he just said, 'everything is gone.' Our furniture, basically if you took a tape measure and went from the floor up to two feet, we lost all of that stuff," Brennan said. "We were devastated, but we also were just kind of like, take a breath. We can deal with this."
Thankfully, the Brennans have flood insurance, but it still took tens of thousands of dollars and four months to make the repairs -- three of them spent in a camper in the driveway. But Heather says it could have been so much worse.
"We were lucky in the flood, I feel like. We were the lucky ones," Brennan said.
Even nine years later, when heavy rains start to fall, it takes her right back.
"It's always going to be in the back of my mind," Brennan said.