Flood Damage Estimates Rise Beyond $2 Billion

The flood damage to private property in Nashville is quickly approaching $2 billion. According to estimates released by city officials Wednesday, more than 11,000 parcels sustained some kind of damage during this month’s historic rainfall.

The running totals don’t include public buildings and infrastructure. Those estimates are just coming out, but it is already clear Metro Water Services will take the biggest hit. The K.R. Harrington water treatment plant will cost $40 million to fix, and that’s not the department’s largest expense. Director Scott Potter says the Dry Creek sewage plant is in even worse shape.

“It’s the waste water treatment plant in Rivergate and it was pretty much halfway completely destroyed.”

It will cost $100 million to restore all of the underground tunnels and electronics at Dry Creek. Until then, sewage will only be partially treated before flowing into the Cumberland River. The total damage to the water department is estimated at $200 million.

Nashville Mayor Karl Dean says most of the city’s losses will be covered by insurance and FEMA. However, he’s redirecting $37 million from this year’s and next year’s budgets to pay for flood recovery. The funds were specifically budgeted to replace aging equipment and make building repairs.

“When a disaster happens, we have to reprioritize, and that’s what people do in their lives when there’s a crisis. The government needs to do the same.”

Outside the water department, 41 Metro buildings were damaged with a combined repair estimate of more than $18 million. That includes $3 million of work at MTA’s administration building, alone.


Here are the damage estimates provided by Metro Government department heads:

Based upon assessments of 41 Metro facilities, the Department of General Services estimates a cost of about $18.5 million to restore these facilities to pre-flood condition. Thirty-two Metro vehicles and pieces of equipment were a total loss at an estimated cost of $1.6 million.

Among the most notable and costly facilities are MTA’s Administration and Maintenance at $3,105,126, Bridgestone Arena at $3,050,287, LP Field at $2,377,162, Douglas Head Start at $1,502,545, and the Juvenile Justice Center at $1,152,697.

Parks reports an estimated $5,128,922 in damage to facilities and grounds, labor costs, and equipment use. An estimated $4,405,722 of that figure is from grounds, facilities, labor and equipment, while 723,200 was included in the estimate provided by General Services.

Metro Water Services anticipates having over $2.5 million in overtime expense as a result of the flood. In addition, the total estimated cost to repair Metro Water Services facilities damaged by the flood is $200 million. That figure includes estimates provided by FEMA which calculate $40 million to repair the K R Harrington Water Treatment Plant and $100 million to repair the Dry Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.


Last Thursday, Public Works reported to FEMA that our cost estimate for repairing roads, bridges and signals was $17 million. Damages to roadway infrastructure were mostly scour, washouts, buckled pavement, and culvert failures. Engineering inspectors are working to visit all Metro bridges to check for damage and so far, only the Tucker and Morrow road structures experienced significant scour. Both have been repaired and are now open for traffic. During the course of the flood, Metro Public Works closed 115 roads. All except Crocker Springs Rd have since been reopened.

Metro engineers have identified six roadway locations with slope movement, and these are being monitored closely. It is possible more damage locations will emerge as the ground continues to dry out

The Fire Department is processing and collecting data relevant to FEMA reimbursement. Initial estimates of costs at this time are approximately $190,800 in overtime costs and $600,620 in equipment rates. This does not yet include damage estimates for the fire department’s damaged facilities, lost or damaged equipment, or the damage sustained to fire, EMS and rescue vehicles. The Fire Department has identified approximately 35 of its employees that suffered significant damages to their homes and is working with these employees to provide appropriate relief and care.

From May 1 through May 14, the police department estimates it incurred $2.5 million in flood-related overtime costs. Paperwork will be submitted to FEMA for reimbursement. The equipment reimbursement figure is still being calculated. Approximately 25 police department employees suffered significant, and in some cases devastating, damage to their homes. Proceeds from the sale of special T-shirts to police department employees will benefit impacted MNPD members. In terms of vehicles, the police department lost a total 14, 11 marked cars, 2 unmarked cars and 1 motorcycle.

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