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Council receives flood study update

Xavier Smith • Apr 26, 2018 at 7:23 PM

City officials received an update Thursday to a flood study aimed at reducing the impact of flooding in the city, particularly in the downtown district.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, is conducting the flood risk management study of the Bartons Creek and Sinking Creek watersheds to reduce flood risk, as well as provide the city with new flood mapping for those streams.

Lebanon officials authorized the flood risk management study in 2015. The city’s total estimated share of the study is $700,000 and would be appropriated in $175,000 increments five years, totaling $525,000 for the three-year period.

Lacey Thomason, project manager, and Steve Stello, hydraulic engineer, discussed several different aspects of the study, which is almost in the feasibility phase.

Several solutions were discussed, but engineers narrowed the solutions to three that could reduce the potential damager of flooding, although flooding would likely still happen.

The highlighted solutions included a retention basin along Stumpy Lane, and bridge modifications along Leeville Pike and Gay Street. The solutions would help funnel and retain water in the event of a major flood, such as the 2010 flood.

Stello said based on the study, the 2010 flood appeared to be between a 50-year and 100-year flood, noting 10-year floods appear to happen more frequent than previous years.

Thomason said the group hopes to have cost estimates for the options this summer.

The federal government received a letter from the city of Lebanon dated Aug. 20, 2014, in which the city expressed its desire to participate in a study for flood risk management.

The watershed experienced more flooding than the major flood of 2010, which is described in the Bartons Creek Watershed Management Plan.

Major flooding with widespread impact occurred in 1928, 1939, 1962, 1963, 1989 and 2010, thus occurring every 10 years. Less widespread, more localized flooding also happens throughout the basin at greater frequencies. Flooding can be the result of widespread major rain events or small intense storms and thunderstorms.

History of the Bartons and Sinking Creeks includes studies and modeling by the Corps of Engineers, Nashville District, U.S. Geologic Survey and others in the last about 50 years.

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