Monday, May 3, 2010

Nashville Officials Give Update On Flooding

Channel 5 News NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The death toll continues to rise across Tennessee, and there is a strong warning out when it comes to water consumption in Davidson County. NewsChannel 5 has learned that 12 people have died in Tennessee, and six of those deaths are from Davidson County. "Two of them were in a home. Two of them were in a vehicle. Two of them were persons in their street or their backyard," said Metro police chief Ronal Serpas. Officials warn the danger is not over. The Cumberland River reached its peak, more than 51 feet, at noon on Monday. The dangerous waters are not expected to go down anytime soon. "The National Weather Service advises us that flooding is expected to happen again today. The river isn't expected to go below 50 feet for the next 24 hours," said Metro Mayor Karl Dean. With lingering high waters, one of the two water treatment facilities remains under water. "The water is safe. The water quality is confirmed to be proper. I have seen it with my own eyes. I need every citizen in Nashville to decrease their water usage by one-half. We've got one-half of the plant capacity. I need everyone to use one-half of the water they would normally use, if everyone does this - we will be able to get through this crisis satisfactorily. If we don't do that - we will have a problem," said Scott Potter with the Metro Water Services. If residents do not heed the warning - it could lead to contaminated water. Crews also started checking out the damage to Metro Buildings. "The Frederic Douglas Head Start facility, the juvenile justice center and the Old Hickory library have significant damage. I visited the juvenile justice center this [Monday] morning and the water is probably waist high," said Dean. First Avenue, the Riverfront and Metro Center remain underwater. There are also 23 Metro schools dealing with significant water damage, leading some to wonder when class will be back in session. "Principals are in the buildings, as well as custodial staff, and we will be ready to open when power is back on and the roads are clear," said Metro schools director Dr. Jesse Register. When it comes to assessing the damage, it's still too early to tell how many homes and businesses have been damaged, or destroyed in Davidson County. Governor Phil Bredesen has been checking out the damage by helicopter. At last check, some 14,000 thousand people in Davidson County are still without power. Bellevue and Antioch are the two areas that have the most homes without power.

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