Nashville considers flood protection measures

9:56 am | November 7, 2012

NASHVILLE (AP) — After a devastating flood in May 2010 caused more than $2 billion in damage to Metro Nashville, the city is preparing a plan to keep homes and businesses safe.

WPLN-FM reports that possible projects range from a removable six-foot floodwall for the downtown that could cost tens of millions of dollars to simply having businesses elevate their inventory. But what actually gets done will depend on cost.

Officials presented some of their ideas to residents for feedback on Monday night in one in a series of planned meetings around town.

In residential neighborhoods, the city is considering more buyouts — where the government buys a home and then tears it down, leaving the lot as permanent open space.

In places where damage was not as bad, some homes could be elevated by a few feet.

“A home that might have three steps to get into might end up with twelve steps to get into, in order to raise it up above the base flood elevation,” said Shannon Lambert, a local engineer working with Metro on the project.

But in most of Nashville’s 22 identified flood zones, Lambert said flood-proofing was probably the best alternative, according to The Tennessean. That includes raising utility and power lines and having businesses raise their product inventory.

“The thing that makes it feasible is the lower cost to people,” he said. “It also generally doesn’t require a long permit process to go there.”

Lambert also said flood-proofing would have the fewest social and environmental effects.

The next step will be studying the feasibility of specific projects, using money from both Metro and the Army Corps of Engineers.

Lambert said it could be several more years before the projects are funded and implemented.

City officials also presented an online emergency notification system called the Nashville Emergency Response Viewing Engine, or NERVE. According to The Tennessean, the NERVE website provides information ranging from evacuation sites and road closures to directions to the

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