Nashville’s $100 Million Flood Defences

Nashville plans to spend around $100 million on flood protection, the city’s Mayor Karl Dean said yesterday.

In the future, West Riverfront Park will be protected by a 900 feet (275 metre) stretch of flood wall, which was announced previously.

Yesterday, Mayor Karl Dean and Metro Water Services Director Scott Potter unveiled further details of Nashville’s flood protection project, including 1,200 feet (365 metre) of removable flood wall on First Avenue. The wall can be assembled within a few hours should any flood threats arise. Plans also include a new a stormwater pumping station at Riverfront Park.

Mayor Karl Dean said in a press statement:

“I look at this downtown flood protection system as an insurance policy,”

The project is still in the design stage, which is expected to continue for another 6 months. Once the final designs have been agreed, building and construction should be completed within 3 years.

Flood wall Nashville
New flood wall planned for Nashville. Image: City of Nashville


2010 Floods in Nashville

May will mark the fifth anniversary of the floods in Nashville which killed 10 people and caused over $2 billion in damage.

Rain fell solidly in Tennessee, south central Kentucky, and northern Mississippi for during the first days of May 2010. Some areas of Tennessee saw 19 inches of rain (480 mm) of rain in 48 hours. Levels of the Cumberland River were at their highest since 1937, at one point standing at 51.86 feet (15.81 m) in Nashville.

Some of the city’s most famous landmarks suffered flood damage, including the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame. Areas close to the Cumberland River, Mill Creek, and Harpeth River were some of the worst affected.

Flooding in downtown Nashville, Tennessee in May 2010
Flooding in downtown Nashville, Tennessee in May 2010 Photo: Wikimedia Commons / Kaldari

A total of 31 people died in the flooding that hit the 3 states of Tennessee, Kentucky, and Mississippi during that time.