Shady Valley community worried about flooding


JOHNSON COUNTY, Tenn. - The Beaver Dam Creek in Shady Valley has a history of flooding.

Just a few inches of rain can raise the water level over its banks.

The reason the surrounding area isn't constantly underwater is because of laterals-- also known as drainage ditches-- that were installed in the creek in the 1960's.

But now the ditches are clogged with shrubbery and can't control the water level as well as they used to.

The Shady Valley Watershed District is trying to remedy this problem.

But the cost of maintenance is estimated at $75,000, so the district is reaching out to the Tennessee government for help.

The group's leaders sent a letter to Governor Haslam requesting the funding.

The state's Department of Environment and Conservation allocates roughly $7 Million dollars to water basin projects, but the majority of that money usually goes to Western Tennessee.

"We pay just as much taxes percentage wise as they do in West Tennessee... And we're only asking for 1% of what they're getting in West Tennessee... We just need a small portion of they pie here, we get left out." Said Erby Howard, the President of the Watershed District.

In 1977 the creek flooded so badly it required rescue and relief services. "I'm sure it was the biggest flood in my lifetime, and they say it was a 100 year flood. And had we not had the watershed in at that time, I'm sure the upper part of the valley would have been under four or five feet of water." Said Howard.

Without a fix, our Stormtrack 5 Meteorologist said we're in danger of such a flood happening again.

"When we're talking about low lying areas and flood prone areas, this is one of the spots we consider, right around highway 91, we've seen it a few times where Beaver Dam Creek has flooded it's bank when there's persistent rain." Explained Meteorologist Chris Michaels.

The Watershed District said if the creek does flood, it will cost more to repair in the aftermath than it would now.

"There's a gazillion dollars that they'll have to spend if that does that happen in the way of rescue and repair." Said Jim Riley, the Watershed District secretary.

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