Hermitage home has flooded multiple times: What can be done?


Flooding in Middle Tennessee is something that can happen at any time.

Of course, many Tennesseans remember the disastrous flooding that happened in May of 2010. Record rainfall this past February also led to significant flooding throughout the area. There have been many other cases of flooding here in Middle Tennessee throughout the years. We spoke to one man whose home has been inundated by water on more than one occasion.

Harvey Jinnette moved into his Hermitage home in 1983. At the time, he had no idea that flood waters would threaten his home multiple times over the next 36 years. One of the first times that Jinnette dealt with water inside his home was in 1992.

He paid for the damage out of pocket and got flood insurance shortly after. 

It happened again in May of 2010. Harvey and his wife Cynthia were among those who dealt with this historic flooding and the timing couldn’t have been worse. Jinnette’s flood insurance policy had expired just the month before. While they were prepared to pay out of pocket to fix their home, help from FEMA was on the way. Funds from FEMA were offered to the Jinnettes to fix the damage. 

In the years since 2010, water crept close to their home but it wasn’t until this past February that the Jinnettes had to deal with water actually reaching into their home. It was the wettest February on record for Middle Tennessee and water started coming into the home through the air conditioning vents and the garage. Cynthia described the flood waters to us

“The going out is as bad as the coming in because it takes everything. It just pulls, it’s really strong. And that was the thing I didn’t understand about it coming in, I knew it would be bad. But going out is bad too. “

This time around they had both flood insurance and FEMA funds to get their home back to normal. The flooring needed to be replaced along with multiple other tasks. But the question is why does their home flood? The answer is related to the location in which the home sits. They are at the bottom of a hill, next to a ditch where runoff accumulates quickly and flows into the Stones River. Despite efforts from TVA to move the water through the area quickly so that flooding doesn’t occur, it’s still an issue. Harvey Jinnette feels that the best way to deal with this problem is to eventually have the area in which his home sits turned into a reservoir. 

“It’s already a reservoir, it’s just they…There’s a house sitting in the middle of it. I got a houseboat that won’t float.”

Despite the fact that their home sits in a flood-prone position, the Jinnettes love where they live. But when it rains, they watch carefully and are quick to move their vehicles to the street and away from the potential flood waters that may approach as the rain comes down. 

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