Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Keep That Powder Dry

If you look at the Army Corps of Engineers flood maps of the Downtown area (in the event of a catastrophic failure of Kentucky's Wolf Creek Dam) the footprint of East Nashville seems to conform to the flood plain on the East Bank. Most of the old neighborhoods lie safely outside of the worst-case green zone, which reaches just beyond the I-24 corridor. Before dams, Nashvillians built well away from the Cumberland. The maps show us why.

But the Corps's worst case scenario includes flooding of the Steiner-Liff scrap-metal yard, where Mayoral Candidate David Briley has promised a neighborhood and a baseball park should he be elected. I was supportive of the Riverfront Redevelopment Plan of creating a new neighborhood in that area, but since finding out about the potential destruction should the Wolf Creek Dam fail, I wonder whether we should press ahead so quickly with new East Bank neighborhoods rather than waiting to see whether federal government is going to commit sufficient funds--which I believe should be committed--to repairing the Dam upriver.


  1. Question:
    Isn't the Steiner-Liff property going to be considered a brownfield for purposes of redevelopment, should they ever be persuaded to sell?? Not sure which is worse: an existing brownfield site flooded by a damn collapse, or a new residential/recreational area flooded by a dam collapse.


  2. Hahaha. I didn't MEAN to write "damn collapse."