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Aerial photo of downtown Nashville during the May 2010 Flood (USACE photo)

Aerial photo of downtown Nashville during the May 2010 Flood (USACE photo) (Photo by Courtesy Asset)

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FACT SHEET(As of August 2012)

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 Cumberland River Watershed

US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS                                                                            BUILDING STRONG®

                                                                               FACT SHEET

                                                                           (As of August 2012)

AUTHORIZATION: Senate Committee on Public Works Resolution, dated Oct. 2, 1972.

TYPE OF PROJECT: General Investigations Study

LOCATION: The Cumberland River is 688 miles long draining about 18,000 square miles of southern Kentucky and north-central Tennessee. Population centers on the Cumberland include Hendersonville, Nashville, Clarksville and Ashland City, Tenn.

CONGRESSIONAL INTEREST: DesJarlais (TN), Cooper (TN-05), Black (TN), Blackburn (TN), Corker (TN), Alexander (TN), Whitfield (KY), Rogers (KY), Chandler (KY), McConnell (KY), Paul (KY)


NON-FEDERAL SPONSOR: Potentially Metro Nashville and/or the State of Tennessee/Kentucky.



·       As a result of record flooding in May 2010, an expanded reconnaissance report has been initiated to evaluate water resources issues including flood damage reduction, ecosystem restoration, navigation, water supply, and hydropower within the Cumberland River Basin. This is the first step in the USACE process toward a mitigation project.

·      The reconnaissance study was initiated in August 2011 and submitted for certification in July 2012.

·       Reconnaissance study recommended immediately proceeding with Investigations feasibility studies to address flood risk management in the middle Tennessee area. Additionally, USACE should request funds to initiate a comprehensive water management Investigations study for the entire Cumberland River Watershed.


IMPORTANCE:  On May 1-2, 2010, record-breaking rains struck West and Middle Tennessee with local amounts of 18-20 inches to the south and west of Greater Nashville. The heaviest rain occurred in the uncontrolled basins of the Cumberland River, which resulted in widespread, devastating flash flooding, as well as unprecedented flooding along the Cumberland River and its tributaries. The highest stage of the Cumberland River in downtown Nashville exceeded the previous regulated flood of record by over 4 feet.  There were 26 flooding fatalities directly attributed to this event in Kentucky and Tennessee, 11 of which were in Greater Nashville. Preliminary estimates of property damage are in excess of $2 billion in Greater Nashville alone.


Status: Funding ($200 thousand) from GI Supplemental Appropriations will be used to complete Reconnaissance phase, identify problem and opportunities and identify potential sponsors for a feasibility study.

BUDGET ($): Estimated project costs are shown below.



Reconnaissance Phase

Total Estimated Cost



     Federal Cost Estimate



     Non-Federal Cost Estimate





Federal Funds Data



     Allocation thru FY 2011



     Allocation for FY 2012



     Balance to Complete



     President’s Budget for FY 2013





FY 2012 Completed Work:  Submit draft reconnaissance report to Division for certification.

FY 2013 Scheduled Work:  Division certification of reconnaissance report, Draft Feasibility Cost Share Agreement and Project Management Plan for Feasibility Phase.

Completion:  The Corps estimates that approximately 3 years will be required following full funding to complete the feasibility phase.  Partial annual funding will lengthen the time required to complete the project.

Review Plan: The he Cumberland River Feasibility Study Review Plan is available by clicking here.

For more information regarding the Cumberland River Watershed project, contact Loren Vidnovic, CELRN-PM-P, phone: (615) 736-7858, email:  loren.vidnovic

corps Corps of Engineers Cumberland River Kentucky Nashville District Tennessee U.S. Army Corps of Enigneers Nashville District USACE