Over this past weekend, Middle Tennessee received about 20 inches of rain - or 25% of its normal annual rainfall - over a two day period. That is the most rainfall in a day since Nashville began recording rainfall. The result is massive flooding throughout the middle third of the state, leaving at least 18 people dead, and thousands more temporarily and/or permanently homeless. 30 counties are in a state of emergency, people and businesses have lost everything. In addition to the human and monetary losses, with all the pollutants that have been washed across the area and into the waterways, including large amounts of asphalt from crumbling roadways, chemicals and other debris, the environmental impact is sure to be large as well.
The Cumberland River reached its highest level in 73 years, cresting at just shy of 52 feet, but all the other rivers in the central part of the state have also flooded. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District had to work diligently to make sure the flooding wasn’t worse and that the dams in the area didn’t overflow, by releasing backed up water down stream. One area dam came within .6 feet of overflowing. Much of the cities of Nashville and Franklin, as well as smaller towns like Centerville were underwater on Monday, with many homes and businesses completely submerged. Metro Nashville, as well as Davidson and Williamson Counties have issued mandatory water conservation measures.