A flood-damaged section of State Route 249 in Cheatham County known as Sams Creek Road will be closed for up to four months as TDOT crews remove and rebuild a portion of the road damaged during the May floods. Heavy rains during the flood event saturated the ground underneath the pavement, causing a section of the roadway to collapse and slide down a steep embankment. The closure begins August 23.
The road is a key connector between Pegram and Ashland City. During the closure, traffic will be detoured around the landslide area, which is located along State Route 249 between U.S. Highway 70 and Marshall Woodard Road. Through traffic will be diverted to State Route 251 (River Road), then to U.S. Highway 70. Local traffic will still be able to utilize a number of local roads located off State Route 249, including Marshall Woodard Road and Old Charlotte Pike.
Contract crews will remove an approximate 400-foot section of State Route 249, and will excavate up to 85 feet of material beneath the roadway surface. Once the material is removed, it will be replaced by several tons of rock, a layer of geotextile fabric, base stone and new pavement. The repairs are expected to be complete by December, 2010.
“We understand this closure will be inconvenient for motorists who routinely travel State Route 249 through this area, but in order to ensure motorists’ safety we cannot have traffic running on the roadway while the excavation work is underway. We will work as quickly and safely as possible to rebuild and reopen the roadway.” — TDOT Region Three Director Winston Gaffron
For more information on TDOT construction project activity visit the TDOT SmartWay web site at www.tn.gov/tdot/tdotsmartway/. Travelers can also dial 5-1-1 from any land-line or cell phone for travel information or can follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TN511 for statewide travel information.
NASHVILLE, TN: Thursday, August 5, is the final day that Tennesseans affected by the May floods can apply for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Small Business Administration.
In addition to federal grants and loans, that paperwork is key to all kinds of resources that can help folks rebuild their lives, including sales tax refunds for replacement appliances, furniture and building supplies, as well as TVA rebates for eligible heating and cooling improvements.
“Tennesseans affected by the May flooding have a great reminder to be sure to have filed for flood assistance with the deadline falling on the state’s primary elections day, Thursday, August 5,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett, whose office oversees elections.
“Rather than the deadline being lost in the final Election Day rush of political advertisements and news coverage, this is a good occasion to call attention to it. I encourage everyone to not only vote and remind others to vote, but to be sure to remind family, friends and neighbors about the 10 p.m. deadline to apply for flood assistance on primary election day.”
More than 66,000 Tennesseans have applied to FEMA, which has paid out $155 million in grants. The Small Business Administration has approved $144 million in low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses and nonprofit organizations.
Still, officials are worried that too many people still haven’t sought help – or that they haven’t sought all the assistance they deserve.
“Some people don’t think they’re eligible, others are unsure of the process. There are folks who are simply paralyzed by the enormity of their loss and can’t make decisions,” said AARP Tennessee State President Margot Seay. “That’s why friends and family members must step in before it’s too late. We hope everyone will use Election Day as an opportunity to ‘elect’ to help others.”
Tennesseans can apply online anytime at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or call the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362 (FEMA) or (TTY) 800-462-7585 for those with speech and hearing disabilities.
“It’s vital that survivors of Tennessee’s unprecedented floods register for assistance before time runs out,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Gracia Szczech. “Help is still available, and it only takes a few minutes to apply. But to benefit, you have to sign up.”
One major issue is that too many folks don’t understand that if they receive a disaster loan application from the Small Business Administration they should fill it out – even if they’re not business owners. A loan denial may open up other assistance to eligible applicants. Only one-fourth of SBA applications sent out have been returned. To register, call 1-800-659-2955 or apply online at www.SBA.gov/floods.
G’s Pancake House Restaurant will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, July 16, at 2 p.m. to mark the grand re-opening of its 803 South Riverside Drive location, which has been renovated from floor to ceiling following severe flooding in May.
The restaurant was completely ruined when overtaken by the great flood that hit Clarksville Montgomery County and much of the Riverside Drive Business District in May. Apart from more than four feet of standing water inside the popular eatery, the owners had to tie their outside walk-in freezer to the building to keep it from floating away.
Just over two months later, the ceilings have been refinished, the walls rebuilt, and new equipment and furnishings have been installed; while it looks like an entirely new restaurant inside, the menu and the coffee hasn’t changed. Longtime patrons are already pouring for those breakfast and lunch buffets and other popular fare on the G’s menu.
G’s Pancake House has served the Clarksville and Fort Campbell communities with delicious food and their signature pancakes and coffee for almost half a century since founder, Gene Sueiro, a Vietnam veteran with the 101st Airborne, first opened its doors.
Many a newcomer to this military town has made G’s Pancake House their first dining experience because of its contributions and support toward the community and the Fort Campbell military base.
The public is welcome to join the community, elected officials and the entire G’s Pancake House Family at this grand re-opening event. There will be plenty of gifts, prizes and free pancakes and coffee all day long.
Photos by David W. Shelton (except breakfast photo)
The popular G’s Pancake House on Riverside Drive is in the final stage of renovation with an anticipated opening within a week.
Owner Cindy Sueiro began working at G’s when she was 12 and her father, a Vietnam veteran with the 101st Airborne, owned the business. She took over the business in 1988.
G’s — open 24 hours a day — is a popular breakfast spot and has a loyal customer base. Then came the flood of 2010, and G’s like hundreds of other businesses — was inundated by the Cumberland River, which four feet high inside the restaurant. Their dumpster disappeared in the floodwaters, though the walk-in freezer had to be tethered to the building lest it meet the same fate.
Like many of the older businesses in “flood recovery” mode, G’s is getting a facelift. Stripped down to its block walls, the building is being rebuilt from the inside out. Dan Dalrymple of Quality Construction has spent the past month gutting and rebuilding G’s.
“We needed an upgarde,” said Sueiro, ” and the flood kind of forced that on us.” She is pleased with the near-finished result. Ironically, she was among the few business owners with flood insurance, which helped jumpstart the rebuilding process.
The counter is longer, the dining areas boast new sheetrock about to be painted. The kitchen and prep areas are completely redone. “The coke machines are coming in tomorrow,” Sueiro said. Optimistically, she hopes to open Friday (July 9) but depending on the installation of fixtures and the timeliness of municipal inspections, that could be next week.
Dalrymply has been working nonstop to ready the restaurant for customers. “The whole point is to get it open and get back to making a living,” he said.
G’s Riverside Drive location has 15 employees, all of whom have been deployed to two other G’s sites in Clarksville until the Riverside Drive eatery is back in business. “They’ve been very loyal,” Sueiro said.
Photos by David W. Shelton
The Salvation Army will be reopening the thrift store at 210 Kraft Street by the end of this week officials said. “We are preparing to set up all our fixtures and shelves; following an inspection we will be allowed to move all our items back.” said Erica Mead, Clarksville Salvation Army store manager.
After the flooding of the Cumberland River in May the thrift store was filled with water, not unlike many businesses in the area.
“Nothing was salvageable,” said Mead. “All of the donations that had been made in the past were worthless.” Luckily, the Salvation Army’s mission “to meet human needs without discrimination” prevailed and the store decided to rent out a temporary location in order to serve those devastated by the flood. The location, a warehouse that doesn’t even have air conditioning, has served as the make-shift thrift store on Cumberland Drive since May 6.
Setting up shop in an unfamiliar location has not prevented the store from collecting donations and distributing items to those in need; items are stacked two-stories high throughout the building. “All of our donations are being housed here in the warehouse and are ready to be moved over as soon as the store is ready.” said Mead.
If all goes well, Clarksville will once again have a functional Salvation Army Thrift Store by Friday.
Photos by Samantha Kanatzar
Surveying the crowd at Shoney’s on Riverside Drive, one would never know a flood had ever happened, much less closed this popular restaurant for several weeks while a total clean-up and retooling took place.
Shoney’s, located at the corner of Riverside Drive and North Second Street, opened today for the first time since early May flooding inundated the Riverside business district. The restaurant, a tradition among Clarksville businesspeople and residents alike, had a busy breakfast business and by noontime was working a full house for their popular luncheon buffet, and patrons were enthusiastic about the re-opening and the new look inside and outside.
With the exception of the meeting room at the back of the eatery, the interior has been reconfigured. A new buffet stands separate from the dining area and has nearly double the circulation space of the original for diners perusing the entrees, soups, and salad bar. The length of the restaurant has assorted booths and tables, including additional seating where the old buffet used to sit.
New air-conditioning systems and the addition of multiple ceiling fans keep the dining room cool and patrons comfortable. The walls have been repainted in a light neutral hue, and new lighting creates a comfortable ambiance.
The exterior of Shoney’s was completely revamped and repainted; the interior fixtures and equipment are all new. Interior and exterior double doors feature handles designed as a swirling vibrant red “S.”
Shoney’s “now open” banners are the latest to be displayed in the Historic Riverside District. People noticed. And came back by the dozens for everything from the meatloaf to ice tea, for the ice cream cake and the strawberry pie.
Photos by Turner McCullough Jr.
The Community Action Agency, the Clarksville-Montgomery County coordinator of volunteer efforts for flood victims, recently reported the following volunteer flood relief data:
- Volunteers: 1,136
- Volunteer Hours Worked: 67,892 documented
- Military Volunteers: 3,514
- Percentage of Hours Spent in the City: 87%
- Percentage of Hours Spent in the County: 13%
Riverside Drive received the most volunteer attention and support according to the agency’s report.
The last request from the City or County for volunteer assistance was received on Monday, June 7. The Community Action Agency has focused most of its efforts on sites already identified as needing help throughout the last three weeks.
The hearts of the area’s citizens is evident following the flood; the proof is in the numbers!
The Disaster Recovery Center (FEMA), located at the Montgomery County Civic Hall will be closing on Saturday, June 12. SBA will be moving over to the training room, next to the Trustee’s Office in Veterans Plaza for another week.
Wade Sims, Disaster Recovery Center Manager, said that when the normal volume of business after a disaster slows down it becomes time to move on.
“It is our hope that the people that needed our help have already been in to see us,” said Sims. “Since we are no longer needed, the city needs this facility back.”
Sims grinned when he said that he enjoyed being here in Clarksville. However, his smile quickly faded as his comments became more serious: “We are sorry that we had to come though and we hope we don’t have to come back for this reason again.”
Sims was unable to comment on the statistics of those in the area who applied for assistance with FEMA.
Those needing assistance in the aftermath of the May flood are encouraged to apply for assistance or file an appeal with FEMA before June 12.
The SBA will continue to serve Clarksville, Montgomery County and surrounding areas.
Hardware City, recently voted the number one hardware store in Clarksville, has partially re-opened after the flood that devastated Clarksville. The store is currently hosting a “Sidewalk Sale” where all salvageable items can be purchased for up-to 50 percent off.
“Luckily our building is all concrete and steel so there was limited damage.” said Kip Carroll, Hardware City Manager. A make-shift counter is currently being used to hold the register and most of the aisles inside the store are not safe for customers to browse through. “Most of our merchandise is lined up outside,” said Carroll. “However, we can always go inside the store and grab anything a customer needs.” The store hopes that the “Sidewalk Sale” will make way for new merchandise and allow the store to continue business the way it was before the flood.
Hardware City did not have flood insurance and is not in the best shape; yet, Carroll says they had to open regardless.
“Unfortunately, we are not a big corporation with deep pockets; we had to open in order to continue business,” Carroll said. It will be a while for Hardware City to be fully up and running, but they are well on their way as shipments of merchandise will begin again starting this Thursday.
Customers may access the “Sidewalk Sale” during normal business hours at the store’s location on Riverside Drive.
The firm of Hazen and Sawyer, environmental engineers and scientists, is spearheading the cleanup and recovery operation at the waster water treatment facility, a clean-up that City Councilor Bill Summers has indicated “may cost $20-30 million.”
City Council representatives Bill Summers and Deanna McLaughlin visited the Waste Water Treatment Plant, located on the Red River, in New Providence. Business Clarksville’s Turner McCullough Jr. toured the plant this week, camera in hand.
Daniel Miklos, operations group manager, noted that at this time there is still no externally sourced electrical power anywhere within the facility. Temporary portable generators, power stations and cables provide all electricity currently powering the diverse assortment of equipment in operation at the complex. A national disaster team from Belfor Property Restoration and Shermco Industries specialists are on site to address specific aspects of the complex’s recovery.
Summers, in a letter to his constituency, provided a report on the status of the city’s sewage treatment facility.
According to Summers, “the entire facility was underwater as the river came over the low end of the flood berm. Water pressure formed an air bubble inside the main office building causing the roof to basically pop off the walls. This building may be a total loss. It was nasty and ruined on the inside.”
Summers explained the steps involved in sewage treatment:
The first process and building separates grease and big solids. It seems to have suffered the least damage as it sat on higher ground within the complex. At this station, the sewage is hit with hydrogen peroxide as it heads toward that first process.
The second step has sewage going to a round surface tank where additional processing and separating takes place. This area suffered less damage also.
After that step, the sewage is being infused with a type of chlorine to kill the germs/bacteria and water is being returned back to the river. It does not meet clean water requirements, but does not contain any germs or bacteria that could hurt people.
The next step sends sewage to three tanks that are the depth, width and length of an Olympic diving pool. Within each tank are 5,000 small airheads. Inspection indicates that all of the heads may be ruined. These heads allow forced air into the tanks that are generated by four 400-horsepower air pumps. These pumps were all under water and are being decontaminated, disinfected, taken apart, purged and rebuilt. The pipes that carry the air also have to be taken apart and cleaned. These tanks usually hold several thousand pounds of live bacteria that tear up and eat the sewage. The air keeps them going. That bacteria colony is now gone too.
Another process sends treated sewage to tanks where skimmers work and heavy particles sink to the bottom. Clear water then enters troughs and is directed to a high intensity light bank which destroys the germs’ ability to reproduce. The river is the next stop. The skimmers now resemble tinker toys that were twisted up; the light banks popped out of their tanks and were destroyed. Many other assorted pumps, motors and electrical power equipment were also destroyed in the floodwater’s rampage through the complex.
Summers reports that to date over $4 million in electric production work alone has been contracted, adding that “most citizens do not realize the amount of electrical power the plant uses. When a TVA increase causes residents bills to go up $10 to $30 a month, it costs the treatment plant over $250,000. ”
Summers praised “dedicated and professional crew” working the sewage plant, noting how much has already been cleaned up in an effort to get the facility operational. “Beyond the great amount of damage in materials and equipment, you would be hard-pressed to look at the grounds, streets and building exteriors and know the plant had been underwater and covered in sewage. The effort and result is shocking and a tribute to the crews that man the plant. The bad news is the plant may not be 100% for another 18 months and the cost could be $20-$30 million.”
The work to be done includes replacement of all 10,000 airhead plates in the three aerating pools have to be replaced en masse, the settling pools have to be decontaminated, purged, filled with clear water and new bacteria cultures have to be reintroduced into the pools. The oxygen supply pipelines also have to be decontaminated, disinfected and purged before the settling pools bacteria cultures can be reintroduced and the pump motors restarted.
All transformers, switch boxes, power cables and generator lines have to be pulled, decontaminated, disinfected, inspected and flushed before any trial start-ups can be considered. Massive pump motors, transformers, oxygen infusers, air supply pipelines, industrial ball bearing housing units have to be decontaminated, disassembled, cleaned and purged. Storage containers of all variety, tanks and other equipment is being retrieved from the bottom of flooded settling pools. Recovery, decontamination and clean up continue daily. Literally every piece of equipment on inventory has been recovered thus far. Not all of it will be returned to service, but as yet, no property has floated out down river, according to Miklos.
The complex is operating at below optimum standards as decades old technologies are pressed back into service until the more advanced equipment can be returned to serviceable condition. Focus is on getting the complex to a basic effective operating status. More adverse weather could overload the complex again as there is no back-up system in place to offset any added stress from increased flow.
Much of the complex’s heavy machinery is offline as technicians work to decontaminate, disassemble, disinfect, repair and restore and test virtually every piece of equipment and building within the complex.
At this time 11 pumping stations are still offline.