Insurance Covers Repairs to Nashville Public Works Hit by Floods

July 9, 2010

Local taxpayers in Nashville will largely be off the hook for the costs of repairing public facilities damaged by severe flooding in May.

The Tennessean quoted Metro Nashville Finance Director Rich Riebeling, who said the estimated cost of fixing public works after the flood is about $250 million. Riebling said all but about $5 million will be reimbursed by the federal and state government and a $100 million city insurance policy.

“I don’t think the ultimate impact will be much,” Riebeling said. “It’s not an insignificant amount, but if we do everything right, it won’t be an extensive impact to us.”

Between federal and state funding, the city usually is reimbursed for 87.5 percent of disaster-related costs.

Riebeling’s department lists 75 projects that will repair an estimated $32.3 million in flood damage.

Just four buildings account for more than half of those costs — LP Field, Bridgestone Arena, the Juvenile Justice Center and the Douglas Head Start center.

Department spokeswoman Gwen Hopkins-Glascock separately identified nearly $33.5 million in needed repairs — $27.7 million of that amount for fixing roads, bridges and sidewalks.

Metro Water Services has about $200 million in damages — the greater part of it to fund repairs at the Dry Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant and the K.R. Harrington Water Treatment Plant. The water plant was inundated by the flooding Cumberland River, forcing city officials to ask residents to conserve water.

Mayor Karl Dean noted that LP Field was open in time for the CMA Music Festival in mid-June and the arena was able to stage the Nashville Rising concert June 22 to raise money for flood victims.

There was also significant damage from flooding in West Tennessee.

Jeremy Heidt, a spokesman for the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, said that hard figures on the damage statewide won’t be available for 18 months after the flooding, which was triggered by heavy rain on May 1-2.

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