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Members of the platinum-selling Diamond Rio were among of the country artists affected by the flooding in Nashville over the weekend.
Several roads were closed in the Nashville area, forcing the band to get creative with with their navigation in order to make their way to the now-devastated Grand Ole Opry House, where they had parked their cars in order to meet the tour bus for their trip to Dallas.
"I was lucky. I was able to get home by 3:15 p.m. on Sunday [May 2]. I should have been home by 10:30 or 11:00 a.m.," the group's Jimmy Olander tells Country Weekly. "The rest of the Rio boys were still getting creative with road maps and highways. They finally made it out to the Opry House . . . to rescue their cars around 9:00 p.m. A levee had given way, the water was rising and all they could do was scale the fence to get their cars before all was lost. I'm so glad they made it out of there safely and intact.
"Unfortunately, like so many people here in Middle Tennessee, the Opry was hit pretty hard," Jimmy notes. "The general manager of the Grand Ole Opry, Pete Fisher, told me he was riding through the halls of the Opry in a boat trying to assess the damage. It's not pretty." (Note: Tuesday's Opry show (May 4) will be held at the War Memorial Auditorium, while the weekend's shows have been moved to the historic Ryman Auditorium. For more information, visit opry.com .)
Diamond Rio's Marty Roe says he considers himself lucky to have returned home just ahead of the flood waters. "It took us about 13 hours to go 25 miles. We sat on I-40 for about 8 hours and then backtracked to Dickson [Tenn.] up to Clarksville [Tenn., and then] down I-24 into Nashville. We got to our cars where they were parked in the Opry House parking lot, just ahead of the river’s advances. So many people lost everything. Our prayers go out to them."