State, local leaders push for flood control following last month's rains

Posted at 9:38 PM, Apr 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-15 23:46:46-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — State and local leaders are calling for action against what they say is constant flooding, following the flash floods last month that killed seven Tennesseans.

Tim Edwards says a nearby creek flooded his business, Edwards Feeds, last month, even higher than the 2010 flood.

Edwards lost paperwork, and several tons of feed, even though he saw the nearby creek rising. He says there still wasn't enough time.

He says it would help if there were a camera at the creek to monitor water levels when it rains.

"I mean if deer hunters can click on their phone and watch deer, surely we can click on and watch a post, a marker, when it rains," Edwards said.

Sen. Majority Leader Jack Johnson is calling for leaders on a local and state level to work together to find ways to prevent this kind of flooding across the region, with flood plain restoration and avoiding construction in at-risk areas, but also supporting homeowners and business owners.

One major facet in the idea of flood control has been a flood wall in Nashville, but it has consistently been voted down by Metro Council members.

Previous Flood Control Efforts:

Mayor Karl Dean proposed a flood wall as part of his capital budget proposal in 2013.

In 2015, Dean joined Metro Water Services to propose a $100 million downtown flood protection system that included a 2,100-foot long flood wall located inside West Riverfront Park and 1,200 feet of a removable floodwall along First Avenue from the Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge to Fort Nashborough. Metro Council rejected the proposal.

And in 2017 and 2018, Mayor Megan Barry and Interim Mayor David Briley, respectively, included a $125 million downtown flood wall in the Capital Improvement Budget, which the council also turned down.

March Flash Flooding Damage:

On Mon., TEMA Director Patrick Sheehan requested FEMA to begin the Preliminary Damage Assessments (PDA) to verify the emergency response expenditures and losses caused by the flooding in 16 Tennessee counties.

The counties that sustained damage were Campbell, Claiborne, Clay, Davidson, Decatur, Fentress, Grainger, Hardeman, Henderson, Jackson, Madison, McNairy, Scott, Williamson, and Wilson.

More than $23.9 million in total damage and cost was reported to the PDA. The estimates include damage to roads, bridges, utilities, buildings, and for removing debris and taking other emergency measures during the response.

A break down of the damage assesment is listed below with Davidson County topping the list at almost $11 mill.

Reported Damages