Neighborhoods in South Nashville look much different a year after deadly flash flooding

Elysian Fields Road
Posted at 7:56 PM, Mar 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-30 10:29:51-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — One year after six people in Middle Tennessee were killed in flash flooding at the end of March, the storm is still fresh in many minds.

Roughly 500 homes and businesses were destroyed, many in southeastern Davidson County, where more than seven inches of rain caused several creeks to rise to record levels.

Along Elysian Fields Road in South Nashville, windows and doors on nine homes are covered in boards. In all, 24 homes were purchased by Metro Water Services after the flood.

While not every property in a floodplain is eligible for the city's home buy-out program, more than 400 homes in high-risk areas have been purchased over the years.

If the city had offered to buy Tom Kiermaier's home on Milner Drive, he is not sure where he would have accepted.

"Where do you go? Because what we paid 15 years ago has quadrupled, but so has everybody else," Kiermaier said.

Nevertheless, Kiermaier who lives in a 55-year-old home in a floodplain still has concerns about his property. Sevenmile Creek, which rose 6 feet above flood stage in the flood, is still in bad shape right behind his house.

"It's no wonder any water can go down the creek with all that debris and trees and stuff from 15, 20, 30 years [ago]," Kiermaier said.

The flash floodwaters got into a number of foundations and homes on Kiermaier's street. Some raised their homes to avoid flooding in the future after so many belongings were washed away.

"We had people coming over and picking through stuff for weeks," he said.

Most homes in the March 2021 flood were built before flood maps were drawn in 1982.

As for the 24 properties that Metro Water Services bought, the plan is to clear those lots. Funding for that program is sourced by Metro, TEMA, FEMA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.