Richland Creek Watershed Alliance blog

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Monday, May 3, 2010

Richland Creek grows angrily - leaves memories

May 2nd midday-
CSX underpass flooded, Sloan road, May 2nd (sent)
Roaring from CSX trestle to greenway bridge May 2nd (sent).

From my house on 54th Avenue North looking north to Charlotte Avenue on May 2nd midday. I saw a parked SUV be picked up by the flood water and taken to Richland Creek during this venture out- to see if my house was in danger. The SUV I saw carried off occurred behind these flooded houses.

May 2nd early evening-
Later the flood water receded and I ventured out of my house to Charlotte Avenue. There was a strong smell of natural gas, smoke and other chemical odors. The police now present at Charlotte and Hazardous Materials (Hazmat) was on the way I was told. He told me there was an explosion and I told him of the old underground and surface storage areas for hazardous materials in the area. As some of you may know this area is why I founded the Richland Creek Watershed Alliance, where we proposed James Park, have our Spring Creek Clean ups and opposed the recent stream buffer variance for the upcoming Metro West Nashville police precinct and crime lab. Various photos below of what I observed the evening of May 2nd on Charlotte avenue, near the corner of 54th avenue north intersection. Yes.. that is a trailer upside down on, in the creek bed at Charlotte Avenue. Richland Creek still roaring to heed it's call- just below flood stage now.

May 3rd 6:30 a.m.
This morning I went out early to see clearly the devastation. Here are some of many photos taken- Las Palmas was flooded since early Saturday and much damaged to the proposed police precinct location, which was built on in-fill in the sixties and now revealed.
1) RCWS spring creek clean up area next to Las Palmas
2)Heavy iron metal grease bin usually sits on creekside empty and moved
3) Camper makes to tributary to Richland behind Las Palmas
Across the street here is a photo of the little riparian vegetation that was there- now gone, parking area removed from the old Champion Ford (proposed precinct location) which reveals the in-fill it was built upon in the sixties and; the damage to the planned police precinct retrofit building.
One of our comments at the stream variance hearing (which RCWA opposed) was that the lack of riparian area here is dangerous to the homes along Richland downstream from here and why we support the FEMA recommendation of a 75 foot stream buffer. The street DelRay, one of those streets that dead end north of Urbandale bridge, had a tragic fatality yesterday. All the houses I hear are flooded there along the creek but I have not accessed the area yet.
Next to the proposed precinct location is the Eagle Body Shop flooded. I reported to authorities long ago of the pollution occurring here and of standing water for extended periods of time. The elevation is lower here because of the sixties development of the old Champion Ford and brewing toxic soup.
Below are links that RCWA members sent. They have more photos and videos of the greenway area and other unbelievable sights showing a beloved creek turned into a roaring river and toxic lake.

May 2nd Videos

Video of Richland Creek on May 2nd:

Greenway Photos

Pass the word along for the understanding that these stormwater waters are dangerously contaminated with pathogens and chemicals.
It is not wise or safe to be in-contact with these waters!

Mid morning May 3 UPDATE
Greenway condition by Richland Creek TrailWatch volunteer

TrailWatch volunteer coordinator Kip sent photos. He said, "all these photos are near middle pedestrian bridge on east side of creek. All three major pedestrian bridges, as well as the Whitebridge pedestrian walkway, appear to be sound/undamaged to the naked eye."

North side of Charlotte Afternoon May 3
I rode my bike to see some areas on the north side of Charlotte and the Urbandale bridge now.
On my way got a photo of the ATM in front of Richland Creek Shopping Center which I have heard has an old Underground Storage Tank and saw the uprooted parking at Burger King. All of the shopping center was flooded and there are sounds of pumping water in most of the shops.
I rode up Morrow road to find it closed due to a serious and Hazmat situation still being resolved. Cars were swallowed by the road that opened up from flood waters (first pic below). There was still a strong chemical smell in the air.
The 2nd pic is of a car suspended in Richland, just south of Urbandale bridge. You can see the tires in the photo. The streets of the neighborhood (RUN) were filled with belongings piled high in front of flooded homes. One after another. Too much traffic to get a photo, but a memory of devastation. One owner said to me after I introduced myself, "well those expensive rocks that you laid out here to prevent flooding were worthless." He is referring to the State project that was implemented to lay rock weirs along the east bank of creek to prevent erosion of stream bank- people's backyards.

See a video link (below) I found on YouTube that was filmed at Richland Creek Shopping Center during the worst of the flooding there. PepBoys have about a dozen garage bays washing many gallons of petroleum based products and other toxics substances to the stream and river, besides the obvious.

Richland Creek Shopping Center flood video May 2nd 10 a.m. -

Thanks to all those that contributed to this photo and video journal.
Monette Rebecca
Executive Director
Richland Creek Watershed Alliance

1 comment:

  1. Thanks a lot for posting this. I live nearby. It's amazing to see how that little creek transformed.