On the heels of last year's deadly flood in Waverly, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to study a Tennessee creek to see if changes could prevent future catastrophes.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District announced Thursday it will conduct a floodplain management services study of Trace Creek.
The Corps kicked off the federally-funded study with administrative tasks last month and field assessments continuing this month.
In a matter of 12 minutes on Aug. 21, 2021, Waverly found itself in a dangerous situation — one that claimed the lives of 20 residents. Historic rainfall — up to 17 inches — drenched the town causing floodwaters to rush down the streets and into homes with little warning.
An estimated two-year study
The cost of the approximate two-year study is estimated at $110,000 in fiscal year 2022 and $96,000 in 2023.
“In 2022 we are focusing on getting hydrology and hydraulic models up and running," project manager Ashley Fuentes said. "The overall purpose of the FPMS study is to see what makes sense and what could be possible answers to a reoccurring situation."
Examples of how the resulting information might be used, Fuentes said, include improving building practices, making sure residents and officials are aware of where the floodplain is and having a better idea of the flood risk in a particular area. It could also help the community understand where the dangerous spots are and show Waverly and Humphreys County "are serious about protecting themselves", she said.
Fuentes said the actions can provide useful information for officials assisting residents that apply for financial assistance or that need help with flood insurance.
“Once the initial modeling is complete, the Corps intends to look at alternative measure to mitigate the flooding along Trace Creek. If the community chooses to continue with any of the potential measures, there are follow-on opportunities for the community to seek federal assistance through various programs and agencies,” Fuentes said.
Natalie Neysa Alund is based in Nashville at The Tennessean and covers breaking news across the South for the USA TODAY Network. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @nataliealund.
This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Army Corps of Engineers to study creek after deadly Waverly flooding