Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Two Years Ago Today: The Nashville Flood

Posted By on Tue, May 1, 2012 at 1:38 PM

McGinnis Drive in Inglewood, two years ago
It's not exactly an anniversary that makes us want to celebrate, but the Nashville Flood began two years ago today.

We're guessing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the National Weather Service aren't in a partying mood either. As Philip Nannie reported yesterday at Nashville Post, the two U.S. government agencies are the targets of a lawsuit filed by Gaylord Entertainment and manufacturer A.O. Smith:

“It is a simple fact that we incurred millions of dollars in damages because the Corps released so much water into the Cumberland River that it rose above the 100-year flood plain,” said Brian Abrahamson, Gaylord’s vice president of corporate communications, in a statement.

Abrahamson reiterated statements Gaylord officials had made in prior days to local media and said the hotel conglomerate had a fiduciary responsibility to its shareholders to try to recover the losses sustained by the alleged negligence. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the National Weather Service — as agencies of the U.S. Government — are named as accused in Monday's complaint. The nearly 60-page delineation of the many facets of this case makes the argument that the actions of the Corps and the Weather Service made matters worse than the rains alone.

Read the full story here.

Meanwhile, at the City Paper, Pierce Greenberg looks at the lingering effects of the flood two years later.

And speaking of the flood, Hands On Nashville is continuing programs for post-flood recovery. The contents of the press release, after the jump:


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Two years after the historic 2010 flood, volunteer response efforts continue through three innovative Hands On Nashville programs focused on long-term recovery and community building in neighborhoods throughout Nashville.

These programs include Hands On Nashville’s Home Energy Savings Program, the Nashville Waterway Recovery and Restoration Project, and Hands On Nashville’s Urban Farm. Community members interested in getting involved with these programs can learn more at HON.org or by calling (615) 298-1108.

“The response to the 2010 flood was a remarkable demonstration of the power of volunteerism, and that service and enthusiasm continue today,” said Brian Williams, president and CEO of Hands On Nashville. “These long-term flood recovery programs give volunteers the opportunity to address critical issues facing our community, from improving the energy efficiency of homes to restoring our waterways.”

Since May 3, 2010, more than 29,000 volunteers have donated 375,000-plus hours to participate in flood-related volunteer programming coordinated by HON and its rebuilding partners, adding up to a projected economic impact of more than $8.2 million, according to Independent Sector Research. More than 125,000 volunteers have been referred by HON to facilitate grassroots efforts led by faith, nonprofit and community groups. A total of 542 flood-damaged homes have been restored or have received energy-efficient upgrades by volunteers via HON and its rebuilding partners.

Below is more information about each of the programs mentioned above:

Home Energy Savings Program
Hands On Nashville’s Home Energy Savings Program was launched in 2011 to improve the energy efficiency, comfort and safety of North and East Nashville homes owned and occupied by low-income and very-low-income homeowners. With the support of The River Fund of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, T&T Family Foundation and others, Hands On Nashville is adapting this program to assist 294 homes owned and occupied by flood survivors in 2012 and beyond. So far this year, 24 flood-damaged homes have been completed.

The return on investment is significant. With an investment of $2,500 per home, homeowners benefit annually from an average $780 in energy cost savings, 7,800 kilowatt hours saved and 11,700 pounds of carbon saved.

Nashville Waterway Recovery and Restoration Project
The goal of the Nashville Waterway Recovery and Restoration Project (NWRRP) is to assess, clean up and restore Davidson County waterways to pre-flood conditions. This year, more than 25 projects will be completed by volunteer groups, ranging from a flood debris removal project on Browns Creek to a reforestation project on the banks of Mill Creek.

The NWRRP is a HON-guided programmatic partnership among Harpeth River Watershed Association, Cumberland River Compact, Mayor Karl Dean’s Impact Nashville service initiative, Metro Water Services, The Metro Emergency Response Fund, The River Fund of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and Cummins, Inc.

Urban Farm
Hands On Nashville’s Urban Farm is a partnership with the Office of Mayor Karl Dean, the Metropolitan Board of Parks and Recreation, Metro Water Services, and corporate and foundation investors to rehabilitate an area of the Mill Creek floodway in South Nashville; engage volunteers in service and learning; and help create a healthier, more sustainable food system in Nashville.

Produce harvested at the Urban Farm will be donated to nonprofit and community volunteer groups who work in the garden. With the help of Starbucks, HON’s Urban Farm was formally launched on Earth Day, April 21. There will be ongoing service projects hosted at the Urban Farm throughout the year, and more than half will be geared toward youth, including a five-week summer service program.

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