Today is the 10th anniversary of the 100-year flood that devastated many parts of Williamson County. Our first news site, Brentwood Home Page, was eight months old and growing quickly.
Susan Leathers and I worked around the clock for days covering the damage to neighborhoods, videoing the rescues of citizens trapped by rising waters and we worked with police to get warnings and road closings out. It was thrilling and rewarding.
Our coverage, which put us on the map with Brentwood readers, showed that being local does make a difference when it comes to complete and necessary coverage. Here we are 10 years later — now with a different team — doing the same hard work and providing the same credible, independent news.
One of my more memorable moments was a trip down Franklin Road in Brentwood getting photos and video footage of the high waters around Turner Farm, in Meadowlake (still my parents neighborhood), River Oaks and Wildwood. Brentwood Country Club’s raging waters were particularly dramatic and the video had thousands of views.
In 2010, the physical devastation of our county was due to a flood and in 2020, the financial devastation is wrought in a different manner. COVID-19 has brought hardship to many of our fellow citizens and business owners that it is hard to comprehend.
I hope you all are reaching out and checking in on family and friends, ordering from those restaurants who have bravely stayed open to fight the good fight and are staying at home to keep others safe.
This is a challenging year and it’s far from over for small businesses like ours. Home Page Media Group employees and I want to say thank you for your support of our Home Page Community membership campaign. I am humbled that over 300 readers have chosen to support us with membership of $5 per month all the way to $300 annual pledges.
Here is some of our coverage from the day after, which will take some of you down memory lane:
Brentwood flooding after 16 inches of rain
After more than 24 hours of almost constant downfall, Brentwood has received just shy of 16 inches of rain. According to city officials, about 14 roads are currently closed due to high water.
Rain is forecasted to resume around 6 p.m. and continue throughout the night and early morning hours. Sunshine is forecast during the day Monday and then throughout the week.
“It is possible that the water may go over I-65 at the Little Harpeth River, north of Concord Road,” City Manager Mike Walker communicated via email. “We are watching closely. Yesterday, the water covered the northbound lanes for about four hours. In addition, water covered sections of I-65 near Bakers Bridge Road in Franklin.”
More than 100 homes damaged
At least 113 homes believed to have experienced water damage have been identified by the city. Two Harpeth River Drive homes damaged by fire are included on the list, which is expected to grow after Sunday’s rainfall.
At the city’s parks, many bathrooms and turf fields also suffered flood damage. Parks Director Dave Bunt and his staff will do field assessments Monday morning. Hundreds of soccer players and their families are expected to converge at Crockett Park and local high school fields next weekend for Brentwood Soccer Club’s annual Adidas Women’s Tournament that draws teams from throughout the Southeast.
Electrical power has been restored to most areas of the city, according the NES website. If your service is still out, or you experience a new disruption, call 234-0000 to report your location.
County schools closed Monday
After conferring with the county’s emergency management team and monitoring a facilities assessment of buildings, Williamson County Schools superintendent Dr. Mike Looney made the decision to cancel classes Monday at 12:30 p.m. Sunday.
National Advance Placement exams, scheduled to begin Monday for many area high school students, will be rescheduled. All 12-month employees should report to work if they are able to travel safely, he said.
WCS spokeswoman Carol Birdsong informed parents via the system’s automated phone system. YMCA Fun Company programs and SACC programs are also cancelled tomorrow.
The Brentwood Family YMCA, which received extensive flooding in its parking lots Saturday, will be closed until at least 1 p.m. Monday.
A major water line break is affecting the south end of Brentwood, leaving some homes in Willowick, Brentwood South and Brenthaven subdivisions either without water or experiencing low water pressure.