Friday, May 07, 2010

2010 Nashville flood: North Nashville community meeting tonight and questions that should be asked

Council Member Erica Gilmore announced the following meeting a couple days ago:
Council Lady Erica Gilmore will hold a meeting on Friday, May 7, 2010, at 7:00 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Mt. Zion Church (Sanctuary) 1112 Jefferson Street, Nashville, Tennessee 37208.

There are many questions and concerns in regard to the residents in District 19 affected by the recent flood. Council Lady Gilmore and local representatives will be available to give information and updates, and answer any questions you may have with the ongoing recovery efforts.
I understand that CM Gilmore is very busy in this crisis, so I went ahead and e-mailed the pressing questions in my mind about neighborhood flooding:
  1. The flooding of East Germantown and the Central Wastewater Plant hit fuel and machine parts containers, industrial machinery, and large trucks. Fuel and other chemicals were spilled onto the Downtown Connector greenway and intersections and lawns in East Germantown and back into the river. Have or will tests be run to determine what kinds of toxins are in the neighborhood soil? How safe are we from exposure? Are people being warned to stay out of these public areas until clean-up? When does Metro expect to have spills completely clean? Are there stronger rules Metro can establish for storing toxic materials in East Germantown to prevent such accidents in the future?
  2. During the crest of the Cumberland River some of us were at the site of flooding in Salemtown: Morgan Park. The park has been flooded since last Saturday and it is now slowly receding. In the hours before the crest on Monday, flood water continued to push up from sewers on 3rd and 4th Avenues and into the already flooded park. During that time a reddish-brown substance gathered underneath the water flooding the closed intersection of 4th and Hume. Do we have any idea what chemicals could have come out of these sewers? Given its close proximity to East Germantown, will any tests be performed on Morgan Park soil for toxic substances? The police have worked hard to keep people out of the water standing in the park, but does Metro have plans to clean up the water and any chemicals that may have flooded in when the river was rising?
Minutes after I sent the e-mail she replied that she would start looking for answers immediately. If you are available tonight at 7:00 it might be worth your while to attend this meeting.

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