After last year’s flooding, homes near Seven Mile Creek build up their foundations

Milner Drive homes
Posted at 5:13 PM, Feb 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-24 19:20:22-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — When it rains this much, all of the water has to go somewhere, and it typically ends up in the usual places.

Several spots along Mill Creek spilled out onto the roads, forcing them to close. In South Nashville, Seven Mile Creek turned into a rushing river. That's something Sandy Conaster knows all about, first hand. "I just kept watching the creek and telling myself, 'it’s not really coming in, it’s not really coming in,'" said Conaster, in an interview back in 2021.

We first introduced you to her when she and most of her neighbors on Milner Drive lost everything. An overflowing Seven Mile Creek ended up in their living rooms and everywhere else. "There was mud in my mailbox," said Conaster.

But if you go down Milner Drive now, you'll see a row of houses that have all been elevated six feet or more. "They decided to stay here, they liked their neighborhood and they contacted us to elevate their houses to get them out of the flood plain," said Don Toothman, owner of Elevate Tennessee.

Elevate Tennessee is a company that will quite literally lift homes out of flood plains by building higher foundations. Conaster's house was elevated six feet to put her four feet above the flood plain. "The goal is for FEMA to never to have another claim on this house and then FEMA’s done with it, their flood insurance dropped to nearly nothing after these houses are elevated," said Toothman.

All in the hopes that when it rains this much, Milner Drive is no longer one of the usual places for flooding. "20 years from now, if you live near water, this is going to be a normal thing," he said.

Because the Cumberland River is already so swollen, lakes and tributaries like J. Percy Priest Lake will have to stay with higher levels of water. That means Elm Hill Marina is notifying slip owners that they need to come move their boats or they could be damaged by rising water.

The U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers likely won't be able to lower lake levels until more water goes downstream on the Cumberland River.