2B.3 What if the 1–4 May 2010 Historic Nashville, Tennessee Flood Occurred Across East Tennessee?

Monday, 24 January 2011: 2:00 PM
612 (Washington State Convention Center)
Brian M. Boyd, NOAA/NWSFO, Morristown, TN; and T. W. Troutman, J. S. Graschel, and S. Roberts
Manuscript (1.6 MB)

The paper will take a detailed look at the synoptic weather conditions that resulted in the historic and tragic flood that occurred in the Nashville, Tennessee area 1-4 May 2010. River model contingency forecasts from the NWS Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center were used to perform a “What if?” scenario should the same, or a similar, rainfall event occur across east Tennessee. The model contingency river forecasts showed that historic river flood levels would occur, and average river levels would be between 15 and 20 feet above flood stage along most east Tennessee rivers. In addition to such historical river flooding, the mountainous terrain and local urban effects would produce extremely dangerous flood emergency situations.

The objectives of this study were to use this “What if?” scenario to better define and share this information with our emergency management and media partners to mitigate the potential loss of life and property. This historic flood scenario will also serve as a preparedness initiative to better educate the public concerning what could happen if maximum rainfall values of 15 inches in a few days were to occur across east Tennessee.

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