Homeowner deals with collapsed basement after flash flooding

Flash flood basement damage
Posted at 5:51 PM, Apr 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-09 23:54:09-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Following deadly flash flooding, impacted homeowners across the mid-state are still dealing with water damage issues.

Elisa Greene's dog sitter sent her videos of water in her basement on the night of the storms when she was out of town.

Flooded stairs leading to basement
Basement flooding after March storms in Nashville, Tennessee.

Greene said, "Yucky muddy water." When the floodwater receded, it revealed the walls had collapsed.

"Literally every worker who’s come in has gone down the stairs and started cursing, which is a little bit discouraging, but strangely reassuring that ‘Ooo it looks bad to you too?’" Greene said, "The first person who got here was the water mitigation company, and he said in his opinion it would be condemned, and I should be prepared to move out."

She moved in with a nearby family member, but now a structural engineer thinks it's fixable. Elisa has flood insurance to help cover the costs since there's a creek behind General Bate Drive. "Learning to navigate that is really character building," Greene said.

As of now, she's worried about how much she'll have to pay out of pocket. Greene said, "It will cover the cost of things like HVAC, plumbing, electrical repairs, and foundation repairs, but apparently there’s a loophole in the coverage of walls?"

The Mayor's office in Nashville is working with the state to collect information to move forward with the disaster declaration. Hopefully, federal aid will be available soon to help people in Elisa's shoes. As an assistant professor, Elisa said Belmont University has been accommodating when she's meeting crews at her home. She's thankful for the outpouring of support from friends and family too.

For perspective, hundreds of Nashville homes sit in floodplains according to the city. Over the last decade, Metro Nashville has tried to remove those high-risk houses by pairing with TEMA and FEMA on a home buy-back program. New research suggests that the number of flood-prone properties is more than 278% higher than FEMA originally estimated.

With flood insurance rules and rates expected to change this fall, people could be paying four to five times more to protect their homes. However, legally premiums can't increase more than 18% per year. This is still developing.