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Photos: Deadly flooding in Tennessee and Mississippi

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  1. Contractor Jimmy Johnson, right, pulls insulation from a flooded home on Thursday, May 6. Massive rainstorms caused 10 deaths and the Cumberland River to flood its banks, rising to its highest level in over 70 years. (Jeff Gentner / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Tammy Awali, right, hugs her mother, Patti Hollingsworth, as her granddaughter watches at left in Nashville on May 6. Volunteers helped salvage some of the personal items out of their flooded home. (John Partipilo / The Tennessean via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Vinyl records and CDs lie outside to dry in the Cottonwood community of Franklin, Tenn., on May 6. (Jeff Gentner / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. The high-water mark can be seen where dried mud has stained shubbery behind a basketball goal at a park in Franklin, Tenn., on May 6. (Jeff Gentner / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Doug Jones loads salvaged belongings onto a truck as he helps a friend move in Bellevue, Tenn., on May 6. (M. Spencer Green / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Road crews survey the damage to Tucker Road in Nashville, Tenn., on May 6. Flood waters from White's Creek raced through the neighborhood during last weekends storms, destroying roads and dozens of homes. (M. Spencer Green / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Willie Mae Strickland takes stock of her flood ravaged belongings, on May 6 in Nashville, Tenn. Strickland is certain that all of her clothing will have to be thrown out. (M. Spencer Green / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Boots, hats and clothing lay soaked from floodwaters at Nashville Cowboy on Second Ave. on Wednesday, May 5. (Jeff Gentner / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. A Nashville house sits in the middle of the street after being washed from its foundation by the flood on Wednesday. (Jeff Gentner / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Catherine Lackey on Tuesday, May 4, stands next to a deck that ended up in the front yard of her sister and brother-in-law's flood-damaged home in Nashville. The deck was originally attached to a home across the street. (Mark Humphrey / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Floodwaters from the Cumberland River are pumped from a building as businesses begin to clean up in downtown Nashville on Tuesday. (Erik S. Lesser / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Carrie Johnson on Tuesday cleans photographs salvaged from the flood-damaged home of a friend in Nashville. (Mark Humphrey / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. A sign in River Front Park is visible once again as the waters of the Cumberland River slowly started to ebb across from LP Field on Tuesday in Nashville. (M. Spencer Green / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Clare Baker, right, hugs her friend Melinda Murphy after helping her salvage items from Baker's flood-damaged home on Tuesday in Nashville. (Mark Humphrey / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. The Cornelia Fort Airpark in Nashville is swamped by flood waters on Tuesday. (Jeff Roberson / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Parts of Nashville were still flooded on Tuesday. (Jeff Gentner / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Workers clear debris and attempt to save client records at an insurance office on Monday in south Nashville, Tenn. Homeowners and businesses began to clean up after more than 13 inches of rain fell over two days. (Rusty Russell / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Cars and other debris are heaped after flooding on Antioch Pike near Nashville, Tenn. on Monday, May 3. (Shelley Mays / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. The entrance to the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tenn., was surrounded by floodwaters on Monday, May 3. (Mark Humphrey / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Gabe Owings, left, and T.J. Holmes remove a flood-damaged couch from a home in Millington, Tenn., on Sunday. (Lance Murphey / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. People walk to waiting cars on Sunday after they were brought across floodwaters by boat from the Somerset Farms subdivision in Nashville. (Mark Humphrey / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Ira Godsy, who lives at the Knights Motel in East Nashville wades out to his car on Sunday. (John Partipilo / The Tennessean) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. Donald Sweat and Sarah Tippett take photos of a railroad bridge hit by floodwaters in Lebanon, Tenn., on Sunday. (Larry McCormack / The Tennessean) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Ray Brandon gets some possessions out of the Knights Motel in East Nashville on Sunday. (John Partipilo / The Tennessean) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. Neighbors carry Janie Cramen to an ambulance after she was rescued by boat from her West Nashville home on Sunday. (Shelley Mays / The Tennessean) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. A car sits covered with debris as it and about 20 other vehicles wait to be cleared from I-24 near Murfreesboro, Tenn., on Sunday. The wooden structure to the left is the porch of a temporary school building that floated down I-24. (Tom Stanford / The Tennessean) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. Greg Lebel tries to divert water into a flood drain so it wouldn't flood his yard in East Nashville, Tenn., on Sunday. (John Partipilo / The Tennessean) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. A semi truck tries to drive past the floodwaters on Interstate 24 on Saturday in Nashville. (Larry McCormack / The Tennessean via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. Raymond Alexander, in black, wades through the water to assist others who were stranded Saturday by floodwaters in Millington. (Alan Spearman / Commercial Appeal via Zuma Press) Back to slideshow navigation
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By
updated 5/12/2010 9:30:44 PM ET 2010-05-13T01:30:44

Nashville may be the country music capital of the world, but at a time when its struggling to rebuild from devastating floods, its billing as Music City has never been as fitting.

Recording artists from all genres who call Nashville home are responding to the disaster.

Pop star Ke$ha flew in from New York early last week and saw the damage before her plane touched down.

"I looked outside and I saw lakes, except for in the middle of the lake there would be a roof. I was a little confused," she said in a phone interview.

After her mom picked her up, she heard on the radio about the number of animals in need of help, so they went straight to buy 1,000 pounds of dog and cat food and delivered it to a local animal shelter. Ke$ha feels so strongly about helping Nashville rebuild, she's planning a benefit concert at Limelight on June 16.

"It's my home. I don't know anything else. It's the place I come to help me feel all right and grounded," she said. "This city has helped nurture me as a musician ... I owe a lot to this place, which is why I'm taking it so close to heart and trying to help people realize the magnitude of the situation."

Nine people were confirmed dead and at least 2,000 homes were destroyed or damaged in Nashville by the flooding that struck Tennessee May 1-2. Flood waters also submerged parts of the Grand Ole Opry House and the Opryland Resort as well as bars and clubs in the city's downtown tourist district. About 2,600 people have been left homeless, and thousands evacuated. Damages have been estimated at $1.5 billion and climbing.

Still, despite the devastation, some in Nashville feel that the flooding has been underplayed nationally.

Nathan Followill, drummer for the Grammy-winning rock band Kings of Leon, was in New York City when he learned about the flood.

"The news here was dominated by the oil spill (in the Gulf of Mexico) and the bomb scare in Times Square so I found out from a phone call. It was heartbreaking to see my city in such bad shape," he said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "Our thoughts and prayers are with all the victims, and we are figuring out the best way for us to contribute."

Image: Ke$ha
Lionel Cironneau  /  AP file
"It's my home. I don't know anything else," singer Ke$ha says of Nashville. "It's the place I come to help me feel all right and grounded."
Fellow rocker and music producer Jack White feels lucky that the building where he physically established his record label, Third Man Records, escaped the flood. The Nashville resident is donating the profits that his record store made on Saturday to flood victims, and on Monday, he and the entire Third Man staff were planning to help with clean up efforts through Hands On Nashville, a volunteer agency.

"It's just one of those things when you're in any kind of community, if an asteroid falls, you all get together and clean it up. It doesn't matter what it is," said White.

Taylor Swift already has donated $500,000 to flood relief. She announced the donation last week during a local telethon where stars including Keith Urban, Vince Gill and Darius Rucker performed and helped raise $1.7 million.

"Being at home during the storm, I honestly could not believe what was happening to the city and the people I love so dearly," said Swift in an e-mail to The AP.

Swift will be helping to raise more money on June 22 at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena by performing at "Nashville Rising," a benefit concert hosted by Faith Hill and Tim McGraw. The lineup includes Miley Cyrus, Carrie Underwood, Lynyrd Skynrd, Brooks & Dunn, LeAnn Rimes, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Jason Aldean, Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith and Luke Bryan.

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Brad Paisley, Lady Antebellum, Dierks Bentley, Rodney Atkins and others will be participating in the first national telethon for flood relief on Sunday on the GAC network, from Nashville's Ryman Auditorium.

No matter how long it takes to repair the physical damage, Ke$ha is certain that Nashville won't lose its vibe.

"Our sense of community is very strong, and I feel like everyone's committed to helping each other. That itself can maintain a positive energy," she said.

Followill of Kings of Leon agrees.

"Nashvillians are strong so I definitely think we will recover stronger than ever," he said. "So tourists get ... to Music City and help us get back to normal."

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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