Chattanooga Flood Preparedness

FACT SHEET (As of April 2022)

Nashville District Public Affairs
Published May 1, 2018
Updated: May 2, 2022

 Chattanooga Flood Preparedness


AUTHORIZATION: Section 22 of the 1974 Water Resources and Development Act (WRDA), Planning Assistance to States, (PAS).

TYPE OF PROJECT: Flood Risk Management

LOCATION: Chattanooga is located in Hamilton County, TN.

CONGRESSIONAL INTEREST: Fleischmann (TN-03), Hagerty (TN), Blackburn (TN)

NON-FEDERAL SPONSOR: City of Chattanooga, TN



After the May 2010 flood in Middle Tennessee, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) ran a simulation that superimposed the May 2010 storm event over the City of Chattanooga, and predicted elevations on the Tennessee River of 14.5 feet above the 500 year flood stage. The simulation predicted damages of $2.4B in Chattanooga alone. Phases I and II focused on updating modeling and inundations, map books, and associated evacuation data. Phase I focused on the Tennessee River, South Chickamauga Creek and West Chickamauga Creek and was completed in April 2013. Phase II work focused on North Chickamauga Creek, Chattanooga Creek, Citico Creek, Mountain Creek, Lookout Creek and various local minor Tennessee River tributaries and was completed in April 2016. Phase III focused on additional products and services including: hydrologic and hydraulic studies; Federal Emergency Management (FEMA) Flood Insurance Study (FIS) submittals; creation of a pilot Hydrologic Engineering Center Real-Time Simulation (HEC-RTS) model; development of flood estimating tools for use in emergency situations; conceptual development of tools and guidance to evaluate the potential impacts from future development; and additional support of modeling and mapping products created in the previous study phases. Phase IV focuses on continued model creation for remaining unmodeled streams, extending the Chattanooga Creek model to include an upstream gage, creation of three RTS models, continued expansion of a structure database, and a viewer for quick access to information for the city officials.



The City of Chattanooga sits on the Tennessee River and has known flooding issues from several major tributaries that the City would like to study for flood preparedness. The Chattanooga flood preparedness study is a multi-phase effort which includes hydraulic and hydrologic updates, incremental flood profile updates, flood inundation mapping, and a Real Time Simulation model. The multi-agency approach includes USACE, TVA, USGS, NWS, State of Tennessee, Hamilton County, and Chattanooga.


STATUS: Phases I - III are complete and Phase IV will be complete in FY23.


BUDGET ($):                                       

Current Phase Total Estimated Cost


     Federal Cost Estimate


     Non-Federal Cost Estimate





FY2021 Completed Work: Completion of Phase III and begin work on Phase IV

FY2022 Scheduled Work: Phase IV work ongoing.

Completion: Phase IV in 2023.

Ashley Fuentes
(615) 736-7884
Ashley.A.Fuentes@usa (cell)