Nashville marks anniversary of devastating May 2010 flood
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -
This week marks the third anniversary of the devastating floods that claimed 11 lives and destroyed homes and businesses across Middle Tennessee.
The community came together in the days after the rain fell and water rose, but in some ways, there is still much work to be done.
In Bellevue, the Harpeth River receded, though risk remains, and recent rainfall proved it.
"Just a few days ago when we had that rain, I came to walk and the water level was almost to the walking path. And I was like, 'You never forget anything.' You know, maybe it could happen again," said resident Leona Aguilar.
In the years following the historic flood, the city learned crucial communication lessons.
It set up a new program called Nashville SAFE, which allows city, state and federal agencies to share information using the same kind of language.
"Remember, in Nashville, no one died because of the flooding of the Cumberland. They died as a result of the flooding of creeks and tributaries, so we now have the ability to constantly monitor - electronically - where those creeks and tributaries - how high they are," said Nashville Mayor Karl Dean.
Metro officials also have plans for a massive study to better understand what could add additional protection near the Cumberland River, such as levees or flood walls.
Nashville set aside $1 million for the project, but federal money remains up in the air, so Dean pledges to fight for it.
"You know, you can call it a 1,000-year flood, a 500-year flood, but that's just probabilities," he said.
A similar study for the Harpeth River is also in the works thanks to Nashville's work with governments in Williamson County.
This month and next, the city will unveil a series of new public art projects to commemorate the flood.
And in the Delray neighborhood, a new park now sits where scores of homes sustained damage.
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