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Flood recovery worries poorer victims in Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Raging torrents had shot furniture through walls and pushed houses into the street near historically black Fisk and Tennessee State universities. Wednesday only a few tent tops poked above the floodwaters where dozens of homeless once lived along the still-swollen banks of the Cumberland River.

As the city's vibrant country music scene gets the attention, less affluent victims wondered how they would recover from the deadly floods.

"Being a minority we're the last on the list. That's just the way it is," said Troy Meneese, 47, a custodian, as he aired out waterlogged shoes, a couch, and chairs in the yard of his one-story home in north Nashville.

As the river continued to recede, Mayor Karl Dean estimated the damage from weekend flooding could easily top $1 billion. The weekend storms killed at least 29 people in three states.

The flooding caused by record-busting rains of more than 13 inches in two days sent water rushing through hundreds of homes, forcing thousands to evacuate in this metropolitan area of about 1 million.

Police searched house to house in some parts of north Nashville, but some suggested they should have come earlier. "Search and rescue teams seem like they just got here. It's a little late," said Howard Jones, 47, a pastor. - AP

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