*Raging torrents had shot furniture through walls and pushed houses into the street near Nashville’s historically black Fisk and Tennessee State universities.
Only a few tents tops poked above the floodwaters on Wednesday where dozens of homeless once lived along the still-swollen banks of the Cumberland River.
As the city’s vibrant country music scene gets the attention, less affluent victims wondered Wednesday how they will recover from the deadly floods.
“Being a minority we’re the last on the list. That’s just the way it is,” said Troy Meneese, a 47-year-old custodian, as he aired out water-logged shoes, a couch, chairs in his yard in front of his brick one-story home in north Nashville.
As Nashville’s Cumberland River continued to recede Wednesday, Mayor Karl Dean estimated the damage from weekend flooding could easily top $1 billion. The flooding and weekend storms killed at least 29 people in three states.
The flooding caused by record-busting rains of more than 13 inches in two days sent water rushing through hundreds of homes, forcing thousands to evacuate – some by boat and canoe – affecting both rich and poor in this metropolitan area of about 1 million.
In Meneese’s neighborhood, some residents and community members said they felt neglected, especially compared to the attention they believed country music attractions and more affluent neighborhoods were receiving.
His next-door neighbor, 73-year-old Evelyn Pearl Bell thumbed through her water damaged items before she got so exhausted she had to take a break as temperatures climbed into the 80s. Volunteers had come by her house, saying they would help. But as of midday, no one had shown up.
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