You may have heard on the news that a massive storm system parked over Middle Tennessee during this last weekend. This storm dropped 10” to 16” of rain over the area in a 36-hour period. A neighbor who lives one block down the street has lived in that same house for 40 years and said he has never seen anything like this.
I first heard about the storm and the torrential rains from neighborhood friends (called the Franklin Campus) on Twitter. I flew to BWI early Friday morning to drive to Mechanicsburg, PA to convince my Mom that she needed to agree to go into Assisted Living. I spent Friday afternoon with her and then drove down to Springfield, VA to meet Karen so I could help her mom.
Following the tweets all day Saturday, I knew things back home were bad and were going to get worse. I drove back to BWI early Sunday morning to fly back to Nashville. When I landed I didn’t know if I was going to be able to get home. I tweeted when I landed, asking what roads were open and the best route to take to get to downtown Franklin. I received several eyewitness suggestions and did make it home with hardly any trouble.
This video will give you an idea of the amount of flooding in several areas around Downtown Franklin. None of these locations are more than a few blocks from my house. Pinkerton Park is one block from my office where I often walk when I need a break from my desk.
Fortunately, we live up a small hill so the flood waters from the Harpeth River never got more than a block away. I did find 8” of water in my basement and a small roof leak upstairs. Very minor compared to many friends.
I knew I was going to need a pump to get the water out of my basement. I checked a couple of stores on my drive home Sunday and they were sold out. Last night I tweeted a request for anyone who had a pump or knew someone who did that I could borrow. Within minutes a friend who lives outside downtown said they had two. I drove to his office early this morning to pick it up. The water is now pumped out and the dehumidifier is running.
I am asked often “What’s the big deal about the social web?”
Events like this illustrate the power of being connected. Here are three reasons why the social web is a very big deal to me:
- It allows me to stay connected to my family, friends, and business associates in a way that is completely different than what I have experienced in the past. The social web makes staying connected easy to do, no matter where you are physically located.
- It helps build community. Unlike any neighborhood I have lived in the last 25 years, I have neighbors who will pitch in to help when the need is there. I live in a real, live community of people.
- It makes partying easier. OK, so our neighborhood likes to party. Neighbors were planning to throw a birthday party for their daughter Sunday night. But, no one could get there because the roads were closed. A couple of tweets and a couple of phone calls and the Franklin Campus gathered to help celebrate. We found out there were five friends who all had recent birthdays. Here is the iPhone video. (Randy @RandyElrod, Robert @TheRobertD, Megan @MegHMiller, Chris @ChrisJackson81, and me @SteveTN). This is just another way to enjoy and help each other.
How can you use the Social Web to build your own community and neighborhood?