Recently, all eyes were on Nashville, Tennessee, the home of BOLDplanning, for the 2019 NFL® Draft. For three days, hundreds of thousands of people flocked to downtown, filling the streets, taking in the many sights and sounds, and enjoying all the event’s festivities. But, nine years ago, May 1-7, 2010, things looked very different in Nashville. It was not locals and tourists inundating downtown; it was muddy water from the nearby Cumberland River, as the City experienced an epic 1,000-year flood.
It all began when copious amounts of rain fell in Middle Tennessee in a very short period of time. The National Weather Service measured 13.57 inches of it during a 36-hour period, and two-day rain totals in some areas were greater than 19 inches. As a result, the Cumberland River, which runs through downtown, quickly overflowed its banks, eventually crested at its highest level in history, 51.86 feet, on May 3, 2010 (flood stage is 40 feet).
As reported by The Tennessean newspaper, nearly 11,000 properties were damaged or destroyed by the flood, resulting in $2 billion in private property damage and $120 million in public infrastructure damage. This included popular locations such as Gaylord’s Opryland Hotel, Opry Mills (a 1.2 million-square-foot mall), the Grand Ole Opry House, the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, and the Tennessee Titans’ LP Field. The flood waters left approximately 10,000 people displaced from their homes, and sadly, claimed the lives of 26 people in Tennessee and Kentucky (nine of those were in the Nashville area).
Over the last nine years, government leaders have diligently worked to improve infrastructure and public services, as well as bolster the City’s emergency preparedness. New measures are in place to protect Nashville residents (estimated at 692,587 by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2018), along with its many tourists (up from 14.5 million in 2017 to 15.2 million just last year). And, not just during high-profile events like the recent NFL Draft, the New Year’s Eve celebration, or the annual Country Music Awards (CMA) Week, but for unexpected ones like the 1,000-year flood in May 2010.
Looking back on the devastation, it’s safe to say that Nashville took a very hard hit from the epic flood in May 2010. It’s also safe to say, given the City’s current booming economy and rapid growth, that it is a very strong and highly resilient one. And, proudly so.
Based in Nashville, Tennessee, BOLDplanning Inc. is the leading developer of online software for Emergency Operations Planning (EOP), Continuity of Operations Planning (COOP), Business Continuity Planning (BCP) and Hazard Mitigation.