As Houston Floods, Nashville Again Considers Pricey Floodwall | Nashville Public Radio

As Houston Floods, Nashville Again Considers Pricey Floodwall

Aug 29, 2017

Catastrophic flooding in Houston has Nashville officials thinking about their own flood protection. The Metro Council is scheduling a meeting for next month to revisit building a floodwall system.

This would be a $100 million barrier and pumping system to protect booming Lower Broadway. The first batch of funding was pulled from Mayor Megan Barry's construction budget earlier this year. Some council members said the plan was too focused on the urban core when many other neighborhoods along the Cumberland River flooded in 2010. They voted 24-10 to remove the money.

Barry says she hopes the devastation of Hurricane Harvey changes some minds.

"I think all you have to do is look at Houston and remind [yourself] of where we were back in 2010," Barry says. "My hope is that the council will support a flood protection system because I think Houston shows us that we need it."

Metro Water Services director Scott Potter asked Monday for a time in the next few weeks to make his case to the relevant council committees. And Vice Mayor David Briley, who oversees the chamber, says it's a good idea. He says a final decision should be made, one way or the other.

"If we’re not [going to] build the floodwall, the people downtown who are investing and building need to know it so that they can plan for that eventuality," he says. "If we are [going to] build it, let’s go ahead and do it so we don't have plans on the drawing board when we have the next flood."