A new coalition in Tennessee is aiming to mitigate flood damage throughout the state by calling for better preparedness and more legislative action.
The group called Flood Ready Tennessee is made up of elected officials, homeowners, small business owners, faith leaders, and community members. Putnam County Mayor Randy Porter said that he joined the group because he believes there is always something more to be done to better the community.
“Most of your communities, Putnam County being one, can’t do a lot of the things that need to be done on its own,” Porter said. “They don’t have the funding, don’t have the resources available that we could have on the state level to work through some of these planning and projects.”
Porter said that the state is averaging about 140 floods event year, which adds up to one every three days. He said that Putnam County itself sees some type of flood event every year.
“You got back to the 2010 flood, that’s probably the one that people remember the most when we got so much rain and we had so many areas of our county flooded. but since then every year we’ve had multiple floods. And it may not be flooding that affects the whole county but it’s affecting parts of the county at any given time. Just a few months ago we had flooding down in Baxter that affected the railroad tracks and did damage in that area. So it’s happening more often than it used to.”
Porter said that the increased population in the counties across that state have also influenced the increase in flooding.
Porter said the coalition plans on reaching out to Governor Lee and his administration to facilitate talks about what can be done to better prepare for future floods in the state.
“Get the state to work with us and step up,” Porter said. “And take that lead role and let’s start working on some of the areas that we have that are flooding and they help the counties with the funds where we can apply for federal grants to help mitigate and work on some of these issues to try and help the flooding in the future.”