Local Community Leaders Push for Flooding Legislation
RED BANK, Tennessee (WDEF) – In response to Tennessee’s risk for flooding, local elected officials, business owners, and citizens have formed the coalition Flood Ready Tennessee.
According to the group, communities such as Red Bank could face serious economic and personal costs in the event of a flood.
“Our main thoroughfare on Dayton Boulevard is built along and in some cases over Stringer’s Branch, our primary waterway, so that means that seventy percent of our commercial businesses are at operational risk due to flooding,” said Hollie Berry, Red Bank Mayor.
The coalition seeks to reduce the risk of flooding fallout through executive and legislative action.
“One city and county alone can’t address flooding in a holistic way. We need a watershed-based approach, and really the state is the entity that could help us do that.”
One of Flood Ready Tennessee’s goals is to push for a state-funded program that would mitigate flood risk. Such programs already exist in South Carolina, Texas, and Florida.
The group also supports the creation of a team which would oversee the coordination of multiple agencies against flood risk.
“There’s really no opportunity for all of those different groups to get together to talk about what the problem is, what are the measures that can solve it in ways that are fiscally responsible but effective, because a dollar invested in flood prevention saves twelve dollars on the back end,” said Michael Walton, Executive Director of greenspaces.
Forty government officials from across the state have joined the coalition.