Despite deadly floodwaters that swept through Nashville this weekend and shut country music’s iconic Grand Ole Opry, the show most definitely is going on. Concerts this week have been rescheduled to two venues that served as the former home of the Opry. But the fate of the star-packed 85th birthday celebration that was slated to start later this month was unknown Tuesday.
Authorities say more than 20 people are known dead in weekend flooding in Tennessee, Kentucky and Mississippi — a number that could rise once floodwaters recede, according to a Los Angleles Times story by David Zucchino.
In Nashville, fans were devastated over the closure and damage to the Grand Ole Opry and the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center, where 1,500 guests were evacuated to a shelter Sunday. Parts of the hotel remained flooded Tuesday, the Associated Press reported, and with an estimated $75 million in damage, it could be closed three to six months.
Here are updates on closures and changes in and around Nashville:
The Grand Ole Opry
This isn’t the first time that the Opry has been flooded by the Cumberland River. A news release posted on its website said the Opry had to relocate in 1975, just one year after it opened, to Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium.
“While we ourselves are shaken by the impact of the flooding of the Opry House and throughout the area, it is important that Nashville’s most treasured tradition continues with this week’s shows,” said Grand Ole Opry Vice President Pete Fisher in the release. The Ryman and War Memorial auditoriums remain undamaged and open.
The Grand Ole Opry’s Facebook page was filled with posts from well-wishers and questions from travelers holding tickets to performances. The website listed dates and venues for some shows that have been rescheduled through Saturday:
>The 7 p.m. Tuesday Night Opry will be moved to the War Memorial Auditorium.
>The 7 p.m. Opry Country Classics on Thursday featuring the Bellamy Brothers was scheduled to be held at the Ryman Auditorium and that show will go on.
>The weekend Grand Ole Opry, shows move to the Ryman Auditorium.
>A National Day of Prayer event that was scheduled for the evening of May 6 moves to the First Baptist Church, 106 Bluegrass Commons Blvd., Hendersonville; (615) 824-6154. Read more.
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