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Breach found in secondary dam at Nashville Reservoir

Heavy rainfall overnight has caused a breach identified in the secondary dam of the Nashville Reservoir, causing major flooding concerns on the east side of the city.

A six foot breach in the dam at the Nashville Reservoir has caused flooding on the city’s east side. Photos by Charles Guffey

Washington County EMA Administrator Matt Bierman confirmed Tuesday morning that a six-foot breach has been discovered in the secondary dam, and while the primary dam is holding, more precipitation could complicate matters further.

“We are two and a half feet from breaching it and the National Weather Service says we have three quarters of an inch or more coming,” he said. “We are in a very precarious situation right now.”

The breach has caused major flooding on Route 15 entering Nashville from the east, and authorities have asked motorists to find alternate routes. A detour has been set up late Tuesday morning diverting traffic along US Route 51 near Ashley.


flood photo

The east side of State Route 15 entering Nashville is flooded after a breach in the secondary dam of the reservoir. Photo by Charles Guffey.


Bierman said there are plans to evacuate homes for those who live along the floodplain and creek. A Hyper Reach alert went out Tuesday morning to 101 individuals who would be affected by the flooding, should the primary dam be breached.

Those along the floodplain include the area near Zapp’s Auto Repair and runs diagonally through Nashville up to the Nashville Mobile Home Park in the 1100 block of South Mill Street.


Map of floodplain. Source: Washington County EMA

“If an evacuation order happens, we are prepared to open the Community Center for shelter,” Bierman said. “We are still OK, but it is going to be minute by minute for a while.”

Anyone interested in signing up for Hyper Reach can register their number through the county’s EMA website. 

The floodplain is the ditch that is located by Zapp’s Auto Body Repair diagonally across all the way up to the trailer court. If the other dam fails, Bierman said the affected area may be updated depending on the location of the breach and the movement of the water.

More than four inches of rain is estimated to have fallen in the area overnight. Bierman said if anyone has concerns for those in the floodplain, he would advise them to gather important documents and leave before an evacuation order is issued.


For more information call the E.M.A. office at 327-4800 extension 340.
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The Nashville News will continue to update this post as more information becomes available.


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