WILSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – Since the Flood of 2010, there have been several significant flood events in Middle Tennessee.
Because there has been so much growth in Wilson County, the local government is teaming up with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a watershed study that will focus on flood risk management and updating the flood mapping of the 100-year and 500-year floodplains, particularly for those streams in the Old Hickory Lake and Cumberland River watershed. They will begin with the Spencer Creek sub-basin.
Kelley Philbin, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Water Resource Section Chief, explained the benefits the county would receive from this study.
“With that updated flood mapping, the county has a goal to inform developers and their city plans so that they can better design for those new developments to prepare for some of the new schools that are coming into the area and to better prepare for imminent floods,” Philbin explained.
Tom Brashear, the Wilson County Development Services Director, pointed out some of the problems in the Spencer Creek floodplain.
“Certain historical floods like the May 2010 flood, and some subsequent floods in 2013, 2016, and 2019 we’ve had at least one neighborhood, Ridgewood Subdivision, that as you enter off of Cooks Road into the neighborhood, a tributary of Spencer Creek flows across their road and inundates to a depth that would be unsafe to pass,” Brashear pointed out. “I’ve heard you guys say, ‘Turn around don’t drown’. That would definitely be a candidate for that slogan.”
Future efforts under a new agreement may assess flood risk at Barton’s Creek, Sinking Creek and Spring Creek, with the potential to study Hurricane Creek and the Karst Region of the larger Stones River in the Percy Priest Reservoir watershed.
District 5 Rep. Jerry McFarland, who is also a retired colonel, said the study is extremely important for the county and the people who live near the creek in the Laguardo area, especially as areas upstream are developed. He added that since the 2010 flood, the county has experienced flood events not experienced before.
“The deliverables from the Corps in this first project, which is Spencer Creek, hopefully, will enlighten us to move on to Barton’s Creek, Spring Creek, Subs Creek and others, to be able to predict flooding and what damage is going to take place and in what areas,” McFarland said. “This should give us a tool to predict flooding. We just want to be prepared for it.”