Flash floods have forced the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, Tennessee to evacuate and close down for several months. At around 11.00 pm on Sunday night, flood waters checked into the resort’s lobby.
The hotel’s Delta, Cascades and Garden areas are now under 8-10 feet of water, the guests have all been evacuated and Opryland will remain closed until further notice.
Pete Weien, general manager of the hotel, said (video) it looked ‘surreal’ with the Delta atrium under 8 feet of water. The hotel’s restaurants are completely submerged, with only upsidedown chairs and crates of wine glasses floating around.
Given the resort’s location on the banks of the Cumberland River, the management did a great job of evacuation, getting everyone out just ahead of the levee breach. By 8pm – three hours before the flood waters entered the lobby level, the resort’s 1500 guests and employees had already been evacuated to a shelter in a school.
Since the generators too are underwater, there is no electricity at the Opryland. By Monday, most of the guests had left the shelter and the remaining staff at the resort were helping guests find their luggage by wading through the hallways using flashlights.
The hotel’s 2,881 rooms are undamaged as the water hasn’t crept above the common areas. The resort says guests who have already left Nashville will have the luggage shipped to them.
The company that owns the resort – Gaylord Entertainment, says it is covered for flood damage and business interruption upto $50 million. But since trouble rarely comes alone, they decided to announce the first quarter financial results on this same day – a $1.9 million loss. The company’s shares promptly tanked over 10%.
At the Wyndham Resort about a mile away from Opryland, 500 guests trapped by the rising flood water had to be rescued by volunteers in fishing boats.
Photos courtesy Gaylord Hotels