Nashville flooding takes out water plant
May 4, 2010

Nashville, Tennessee, has lost one of its municipal water-treatment plants to serious flooding. Boil advisories are in place, and with the loss of one of the two plants, people are being asked to curtail all but their essential use of water. In addition to causing deaths in the midst of fast-moving floodwaters and a lingering risk to public health by contaminating water supplies and causing sewer backups and overflows, floods like this can also create a dual hazard for fire -- first, by making some locations impassable and thus inaccessible for firefighting equipment, and second by reducing the availability of water for fighting fires.

It's critical that communities prepare in advance for major flooding, especially when there's no immediate risk of disaster on the horizon. Cities need to have lots of portable flood-control pumps on hand and ready for service on a moment's notice, along with sandbags or portable dams for immediate deployment.

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last revised May 2010