Facilities for Titans, Preds damaged

Updated: May 3, 2010, 11:08 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Muddy waters poured over the banks of Nashville's swollen Cumberland River on Monday, spilling into Music City's historic downtown streets and causing damage to the city's professional sports facilities.

Five inches of water backed up through storm drains into the Bridgestone Arena, damaging dressing rooms and the floor where the NHL's Nashville Predators play.

"It seems to be coming in faster than we can pump it out," Predators senior vice president Gerry Helper told the Tennessean. "My understanding is that the water is actually coming up from below, up through the drains. It's not like it's coming from street level and down."

The event level that includes the Predators locker rooms and the area where the ice would be for games sits about two stories below ground level.

"We've got some costly stuff down there, from the locker rooms to the [TV] production rooms," Helper told the newspaper. "Clearly there is going to be some extensive damage."

Across downtown on the river's east bank, water covered the grass inside LP Field, home of the NFL's Tennessee Titans. The field's athletic surface was covered with water, nearly reaching the first row of seats.

"Water rose to [the] edge of the practice fields and the bubble, but has fallen back some," Robbie Bohren, the team's director of media relations, told the newspaper.

According to Bohren, the reason was because a nearby Nashville Electric Service substation had to be shut down due to the threat of flood waters. When the substation shut down, it cut power to the stadium, shutting off power to the stadium's pumps. The lack of pumps led to flooding at the stadium's service entrance and then the playing field, which sits at the lowest point of the complex.

Weekend storms dumped more than 13 inches of rain in two days in the Nashville area, leading to a quick rise of the Cumberland River and its tributaries.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.