Cumberland River crests well below flood stage

Thursday, August 19, 2010 at 7:08pm

Update: The Cumberland River crested at 33.98 feet at 6 p.m. Thursday. Water levels had already fallen more than a foot  to 32.93 at 11:30 p.m. A flood warning along the river was canceled.

The Cumberland River is expected to crest lower than 40 feet as forecast earlier on Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.

During a news conference at the Office of Emergency Management, Mayor Karl Dean said the river was expected to crest at 38.5 feet sometime around midnight and precautions were being made in case some flooding did occur.

Shortly after the 5 p.m. news conference, the National Weather Service said an updated report, including information from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regarding water release from Old Hickory Dam, dropped the forecast even further with the Cumberland expected to crest at 36 feet sometime around 1 a.m. Friday.

Meteorologist Larry Vannozzi of the National Weather Service said a river stage of 36 feet meant only minor flooding in isolated areas may occur.

Dean said the deployment of sandbags at Pennington Bend had begun. Metro Water Service employees were in the area asking residents if they wanted help sandbagging.

But Dean cautioned that deploying sandbags doesn’t mean flooding is imminent, but that precautions are being taken. No evacuations had been ordered as of the 5 p.m. news conference, but the mayor asked residents in low-lying areas in Pennington Bend and downtown to be prepared in case evacuations are needed.

Metro police Chief Steve Anderson said around-the-clock patrols in areas flooded in May remain in action and evacuation plans are in place “in an abundance of precaution.”

For those residents who wish to evacuate voluntarily, officials opened a shelter at Hermitage Church of Christ at 404 Lebanon Road starting at 6 p.m.

Other preparations previously underway Thursday afternoon according to OEM:

Metro officials are working with the Nashville Red Cross to identify potential locations for emergency shelters in the event of an evacuation.

Metro Parks and Recreation was to close the Shelby Bottoms park and greenway area.
Nashville Fire Department swift water rescue teams and OEM volunteers remain on standby.

Metro’s Community Hotline is open and available for citizens to call with questions or concerns. The hotline number is 615-862-8574.

1 Comment on this post:

By: PKVol on 8/20/10 at 7:14

The fact that a forecast of 40 feet was made yesterday and the river crested just below 33 feet is supposed to make us more confident in the COE's predictions and let us believe that they had everything in control in May, that it was just a 'communication breakdown'?