GALLATIN, Tenn. (June 14, 2019) – A signing ceremony today at Triple Creek Park officially kicked off the design and implementation phase for a flood risk reduction project to help alleviate flooding in the city during periods of heavy rain.
Lt. Col. Cullen Jones, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District commander, and Gallatin Mayor Paige Brown signed a project partnership agreement at Mapleshade Memorial near where the Corps will construct an earthen detention structure on Town Creek that would store approximately 46 acre-feet of water.
“Everyone knows that in May 2010, historic rainfall caused significant damage to the downtown area,” Jones said. “That prompted your team (city of Gallatin) to go through and execute a 205 flood risk management study with us that enabled us to go through and find 14 possible recommendations to help improve the quality of life for your citizens.”
Working through the feasibility planning process the city of Gallatin and Nashville District selected the recommended plan, a structure at Triple Creek Park. The 800-foot detention structure is going to reduce flood risk, Jones noted.
Gallatin experiences repeated high-water events that cause flooding in downtown and over State Highway 31E. Traffic is disrupted and police, fire and emergency rescue responders are impacted and have to take alternate routes, which increases travel time and creates risk to life and safety.
“For the citizens of Gallatin this is a great project,” said Lance Wagner, Stormwater Utility manager. “It really will help the downtown corridor, keep water off 31E, and water out of our downtown area.”
Up to 14 inches of rain hit also Gallatin in May 2010, causing a severe disruption of services and $500,000 in damage to public facilities. Additionally, FEMA reported that approximately 400 individual assistance applications were received from residents along East Camp Creek and its tributaries following the heavy rain event. The mayor said the history of flooding over the years made this project a priority for the city.
“The Corps of Engineers of course has the expertise that we as a city can’t access as easily or really as professionally as you can provide for us,” Brown said. “For what we’re going to be able to do for our community we’re very excited about it. We look forward to the continued partnership.”
The Corps of Engineers studied the East Camp Creek watershed and tributaries in Sumner County. Town Creek is a tributary of East Camp and runs through downtown Gallatin. East Camp Creek flows into Old Hickory Lake.
“Through our planning process we looked at a significant number of flood risk reduction measures, and through those the detention structure became the front runner really from the beginning,” said Lacey Thomason, project manager for the Nashville District.
Thomason explained that the location is in the upper third of the basin and is undeveloped, which does not impact any other habitable structures.
“It is really touching a lot of the water before it hits your downtown area,” she explained. “So we’re taking off that flood peak and allowing the water to pass through downtown, and then the rest of the flow to come through.”
Thomason said the Corps values its partnership with the city of Gallatin, and the project partnership agreement is an important milestone.
“This is the next big step to getting flood reduction for the city of Gallatin,” she said.
Wagner added that because the city already owns the land, the footprint for the detention structure, the project is going to cost less while providing a lot of valuable protection.
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