NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District joined Nashville officials and representatives from other federal agencies today at England Park to draw attention to flood risk and awareness on the third anniversary of the May 2010 flood.
Lt. Col. James A. DeLapp spoke and participated in an unveiling of a “High Water Mark” sign where homes were submerged when Richland Creek flooded the area. A couple lost their lives on the site during the flood and the park is named in their honor.
DeLapp said since the flood the Corps has developed close partnerships with the city and numerous other local, state and federal entities to assist with engineering and flood modeling and mapping, and has invested $1.3 million of federal funds to these efforts.
In addition, DeLapp noted, the Corps provided assistance in the development of the city’s online tools to better predict and inform the public where flooding will occur.
“To date we’ve also spent $2 million of federal funds on flood preparedness plans for the counties of Wilson, Sumner, Rutherford, and Cheatham,” DeLapp said. “The Metro and USGS have also added over 10 new gages on the Cumberland River and tributaries to better predict its accuracy of the waters that flow” through them.
Mayor Karl Dean said it’s hard to believe three years have already passed since the May 2010 flood when it rained for 48 straight hours, which was more than the city had seen in its recorded history.
“We remember that tragically the flood waters took the lives of 11 Nashvillians, and we remember how the story of the flood in Nashville turned into a story of incredible optimism and community spirit, of people coming together to help each other in the most dire of circumstances,” Dean said.
The mayor added that the placement of the high water mark at England Park is a way of providing continued education about flood risks so citizens can be better prepared to protect themselves and their property.
The markers are being installed over the next month at public places including Shelby Bottoms Greenway, Harpeth River Greenway, Hands On Nashville Urban Farm at Wimpole Drive, Richland Creek Greenway, Edmondson Pike Library, Stones River Greenway and Whites Creek Greenway.
“My hope is that citizens will spend a minute considering how a major flood could impact them, and take steps to protect themselves, their loved ones and their homes, said Scott Potter, director of Metro Water Services.
Since May 2010, Nashville has taken additional steps such as the Unified Flood Preparedness Plan, Nashville SAFE and NERVE, to be better prepared and have advanced warning of a flood event.
The placement of high water mark signs is born from the “Know Your Line: Be Flood Aware” Initiative and serves as a daily reminder of the community’s history and potential for flooding and guide citizens and businesses to take steps to think about flood preparedness.
The initiative was developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency with assistance from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Park Service, USACE, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Small Business Administration.