NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Finding safety on top of a roof became one Nashville couple’s reality when heavy rain came pouring into their home.
If life could fit into one container, the storage unit delivered to the home of Katelyn and James Martin would hold everything the couple had left. On Wednesday, the two spent the day packing up what was left inside their home after water took over their house three days ago.
“We woke up to the sound of water in our bedroom,” said Katelyn Martin.
Just after 11 p.m., the pair went to sleep. Katelyn said she saw the warnings on her phone before they went to bed. Just a couple of hours later at around 1 a.m., water came rushing into their home. The Martins say in just a couple of minutes, their home went from just a couple of wet spots on the floor to water reaching the top of electrical outlets.
She said there was about 7-14 inches of water in each of the rooms, destroying everything, even their nursery.
“I went in there and just started getting things off the floors, and just stacking stuff on the crib,” Katelyn Martin explained.
She is set to give birth the first week of May and said she had just recently had a baby shower. Her mother recently left the city after helping her daughter set up the nursery.
At nearly eight months pregnant, the couple grabbed important documents and water into a backpack after deciding it was too dangerous to stay inside their home.
“As soon as we opened the front door, water just rushed into the front house and that’s when we made the trek, backpacks on, to decide to evacuate,” said James Martin.
James says with the power still working inside the house, his first priority was making sure his wife and unborn child were safe. He worried what water and electrical outlets would have caused if they had stayed at the home.
“When we opened the front door and walked down the front steps, the water was up to my belly button already, and it was just flowing,” remembered Katelyn.
Walking through water, holding on to one another, the two made their journey outside. Initially, their goal was to make it to a nearby two-story home, where neighborhood friends found shelter.
“The water was so cold, it kind of locked you up, and also there are so many things floating under the water that you can’t see, and tripping you up. Gates, fences, and wood,” James said.
Although the pair couldn’t make it to their original destination, they felt they needed to get out of the water. Using a bucket that floated by and a flower bed, the couple was able to climb on top of a neighbor’s roof.
For two hours, the couple sat, waiting for the water level to subside. Katelyn said they could see Metro police and rescue teams parked where the subdivision begins, but the water was so deep she thought it would have been dangerous for anyone to come to help them.
Waiting out the storm, both agreed their un-born child pushed them to survive.
“You know she felt the baby kick on top of that roof while we were waiting,” said James, holding back tears. “It’s the only thing that matters. They’re the only thing that matters.”
The couple remembers the 2010 floods. Back then, the garage of their home had flooded, along with just a couple of homes in the Paragon Mills area where they live alongside a creek. However, this storm brought much more destruction than they could have imagined.
“Very traumatic experience. Seeing the water just pouring into your house, and then looking out the window and seeing the whole neighborhood…just feet and feet of water,” said Katelyn.
Katelyn is a teacher at St. Bernard Academy. Both of the Martins say the outpouring of support from the community has been amazing. Every day someone from the community is reaching out to provide a home, storage needs and anything they could need.