Nashville homes not in flood plains still flooding

When Quincy Nelson moved to Nashville, she purposely bought a house in Green Hills that wasn’t in a flood plain.
Updated: Sep. 25, 2019 at 10:00 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - When Quincy Nelson moved to Nashville, she purposely bought a house in Green Hills that wasn’t in a flood plain.

This year, her property on Grandview Drive has flooded three times.

“The frequency of it is a little concerning,” Nelson said.

Just down the street, Jere Carter has lived in his home for fifty years, and said in recent years, his backyard completely floods.

“It is getting worse?” asked News4 Investigates

“I would say yes,” Carter said.

Several streets over on Battlefield Drive, Sam Parish said when his yard floods, he can’t even get into his house.

“I couldn’t get in my driveway two weeks ago when it overflowed,” Parish said.

Neighbors in this section of Green Hills all told News4 Investigates that while they blame outdates and too small culverts for the problem, they also say for too long, the city has allowed two homes to be constructed where a single home used to stand.

Parish, a geologist, said it ultimately removed green spaces that absorbed the water.

News4 Investigates used Drone 4 and studied land surveys, and found on Parish’s block alone, eleven lots, that used to have one house, now have two.

And all those eleven houses were built before 2014, meaning they do not have to have any type of storm water control.

After 2014, the city started requiring builders to include storm water controls, such as rain gardens or permeable driveways, be implemented when two homes were built on a single lot.

But all such development before 2014 does not have those controls.

“We have several neighborhoods that are older neighborhoods that are experiencing stormwater concerns,” said Sonia Allman, public information officer for Metro Water.

“Are you fighting mistakes from the past?” asked News4 Investigates.

“It’s not mistakes from the past. I think infill may play a small part in it, but we are seeing so many more stormwater complaints mainly because of the rain,” Allman said.

Allman said the city believes heavier rain is the real culprit that these neighborhoods are battling, citing the wettest Feburary on record.

Allman also said that in this particular neighborhood, there is an existing creek, and the land also sweeps down, causing water to flood in a certain direction.

But Allman also acknowledged that the city has a massive backlog of more than $150,000,000 improvements to infrastructure that they are trying to tackle.

Neighbors said if so many homes were approved to be built without stormwater control before 2014, then it’s the city’s responsibility to fix what’s becoming an ever-wetter problem.

Metro water will meet with neighbors next month to present possible solutions. News4 Investigates will be there to update the situation.

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