Updated 7:10 p.m.: Police have received 26 reports of looting related to the flood since May 3, Chief Ronal Serpas said Wednesday evening.
He urged residents to report any suspicious activity to the police, adding that the department would have two helicopters monitoring the city throughout the night, as well as officers working neighborhood beats.
As floodwater in ravaged Nashville neighborhoods recedes, Metro officials are intensifying the city’s recovery effort.
This morning, Metro police launched its “urban search and rescue effort,” with a team of more than 100 officers going to parts of Bordeaux, Bellevue, Neely’s Bend and Antioch that experienced significant flooding. The idea is to check property for safety and other issues.
“That is on our way as we speak,” Metro Police Chief Ronal Serpas said Wednesday morning.
In the last two days, Serpas said the department has received 20 phone calls regarding looting in flooded neighborhoods. He said officers have made two looting arrests.
The death toll from the worst flooding in Nashville’s history is still at nine. Some 3,500 Nashvillians still do not have power.
Police are now allowing limited access to the MetroCenter area between noon and 4 p.m. today for property owners and managers of businesses in that district, Serpas said. Because of standing water on some streets, only trucks and SUVs are permitted.
Metro Public Works Director Billy Lynch said his department is in the process of making damage assessments, so far they have identified more than 300 damage sites throughout the city. Crews are beginning in Bordeaux, Antioch and Bellevue.
“The predominant number of those are quick fixes,” Lynch said. “We have moved out today to move debris from those road sites. There are a few that are major problems that we will start to begin to address.”
One of those major areas of demolition is Tucker Road in Bordeaux.
“It’s pretty much washed away,” Lynch said. “We will begin there tomorrow.”
Lynch said the cleanup process should go quickly once he signs off on contracts with groups that will assist with the cleanup effort. He expects that process to be completed tomorrow evening or Friday morning.
“We can then inundate the city with a large number of crews that can get out and get this debris up,” he said.