Today, Lebanon Mayor Rick Bell released details of Phase 1 of a new flood warning system for the city of Lebanon. The flood warning system will use new technology to alert emergency officials of possible flood conditions. Thus, allowing officials to provide earlier warning to Lebanon businesses and property owners downstream.
“In March, I saw firsthand the devastation the flood water caused to our businesses across the city of Lebanon,” Mayor Rick Bell said. “We must be innovative in our approach to alleviate future flooding issues and be proactive in communicating to our businesses and residents of potential flooding headed their way.”
The city of Lebanon has invested approximately $10,000 in the new flood warning system, comprised of three sensors which will communicate directly to a new software program that will alert city officials of potential flooding. Phase 1 will include sensors near Stumpy Lane, Holloway Drive, and Short Street. Over the next 60 days, city officials will be testing the new technology with plans to make needed adjustments to improve the website.
“The goal is to make a website available to the general public which will consist of a color-coding system and provide as much advance warning as possible for the flash flood type events we receive with intense rainfall.” Mayor Bell said.
Calibrating the sensors to predict actual water surface elevations and depths is key and will be a work in progress through the next few rainfall events. Additional areas of town have also been identified as potential spots to use this new technology.
“I have toured the tunnel underneath the square on two occasions and have instructed our public works department to frequently clean out debris that could possibly hinder water flow,” Bell said. “I also appreciate the Lebanon City Council passing a resolution to investigate and implement flood mitigation efforts.”
Resolution No. 21-2446 passed unanimously at last week’s council meeting and allowed the city to move forward on eleven new and additional flood mitigation efforts.
The resolution passed includes the following action steps:
- Contact the owner of the Woolen Mills and request permission/authorization to remove the old railroad bridge.
- Request a professional services proposal to model Sinking Creek with the two buildings between West Spring Street and the railroad tracks near Newby Street removed in order to evaluate the effect on flooding to determine if the city should pursue the purchase and removal of these two buildings.
- Run a second model with the same two buildings being removed, along with the construction of a 2–4-foot wall along the west side of Sinking Creek between West Spring Street and the railroad tracks.
- Consider modifications to the West Gay Street Creek bank as part of the bridge replacement project.
- Develop a warning system using new technology to warn emergency officials who will then be able to provide an earlier warning of flood conditions to Lebanon business and property owners.
- Improve debris removal efforts in Sinking Creek after significant storms.
- Establish a specific maintenance plan in compliance with state and or federal guidelines.
- Develop an improvement/incentive plan for the new development in the watershed to detain and store additional stormwater on their respective properties.
- Provide education and information to property owners regarding improvements they can make to reduce flood risks and damages that would include flood roofing measures, storing items above flood elevation, locating electrical outlets above the flood elevations, and using concrete floors (as opposed to carpet and wood) to reduce cleanup activities.
- Consider buying high risk property that has a history of flooding, working with TEMA to determine eligible structures.
- Consider a local grant program to assist property owners with specific improvements to their private property that would assist in mitigating flooding.
To receive emergency messages from the Lebanon Police Department through Everbridge Nixle, a text based alert system, simply text your zip code to 888777. An Everbridge Nixle app is also available with extra features and notification options.