It’s adamantine to brainstorm that eight years ago burghal Nashville was underwater.
Two canicule of record-breaking rain on May 1 and May 2, 2010, larboard 10 bodies in the Nashville breadth dead.
Shivering men, women and accouchement were rescued from their abounding homes; some were abandoned on rooftops.
Buildings floated bottomward the interstate. An estimated 11,000 backdrop were destroyed or damaged.
The federal government beatific tens of millions of dollars in aid; money appropriate for flood victims like Belinda Gentry.
News4 aboriginal met Gentry in 2010.
“This is area the baiter hit the advanced door,” Gentry acicular to a mark about three anxiety aeriform on her advanced aperture jamb.
She still lives in the aforementioned abode in the River Glen subdivision abreast Opryland in Pennington Bend.
“The baptize was absolutely about here,” Gentry said as she captivated her duke aloof beneath the kitchen adverse top.
The McEwen’s alive in the aforementioned neighborhood.
Carol McEwen showed News4 the aeriform photo of her inundated neighborhood, which was featured on the advanced folio of the newspaper.
“And this is our house,” she best out her abode in the photo, as it sat amidst by black water.
“Awful. Muddy. Nasty. Turtles, varmints everywhere,” she said.
They had a ringside bench as the Cumberland River unleashed its destruction.
The SWAT aggregation was in her neighborhood, evacuating people.
“And about that time, this bank of baptize came hasty down,” McEwen said. She saw the deluge absorb her neighbor’s abode up to its window sills.
FEMA beatific emergency flood accretion money.
Gentry got some of it, but she dug abysmal into her own pockets and asleep her retirement funds to awning what FEMA did not.
“Tens of bags of dollars,” Gentry said.
What did the McEwens get from the government?
“Nothing. Nothing,” Carol McEwen told the News4 I Team.
What happened to all that flood money from the federal government?
Nashville got $10 actor from HUD’s Disaster Accretion Armamentarium to alpha and accustomed addition $22 actor in a added allotment from HUD in 2011.
Our News4 I-Team assay apparent that one-third of that $22 actor – $7.4 actor – never went to abounding homeowners.
It was acclimated to architecture Ascend Amphitheater, a burghal concert venue.
“Where is it, why wasn’t it acclimated what it was appointed for?” Gentry asked News4.
Three years afterwards the flood, Nashville told the federal government they capital to alter the $7.4 actor appear beach development; about adage they couldn’t acquisition any added homeowners who bare help.
“No applications for abetment accept been submitted in contempo months,” the burghal told HUD, apropos to money appropriate for adjustment and rehabilitation of owner-occupied homes.
“Initial appeal for this affairs was high, and about 400 households accept been assisted,” Metro wrote to HUD.
“Upon achievement of cases in progress, this action will be closed,” Metro admiral wrote.
The Metropolitan Development and Apartment Agency told News4 that they originally allocated 68 percent of the $22 actor to housing. MDHA partnered with The Apartment Armamentarium to administrate the Adjust program.
“The bulk programmed for Adjust was based on actuality able to balance homeowners for application their own funds for repairs,” said Angela Hubbard, the Administrator of Community Development for MDHA.
“However, HUD said this was not allowed, we could not balance bodies for their out of abridged costs nor could we accommodate abetment if they had accustomed allowance proceeds, FEMA or SBA abetment that covered the accident assessment,” Hubbard said.
MDHA said bodies were arrive to abide accessible comments afore the money was redirected for addition purpose, but no one did.
“Who did they contact? How did they acquaint bodies about that? How?” Gentry asked News4.
“We never knew about that,” said Carol McEwen. “If I had heard that, I absolutely would accept said, ‘Hey, we could use some help!’”
Phil Claiborne was a administrator at the time. He represented the River Glen subdivision.
“I’m surprised. Yeah, I am, I absolutely am,” Claiborne said.
News4 showed him what the burghal cut in adjustment to move $7.4 actor to the Ascend project.
$700,000 from adjacency cleanup
$1,000,000 from homeowner rehab
$1,200,000 from rebuilding assistance
$2,200,000 from bottomward acquittal assistance
“There are categories in actuality area this money could accept possibly been used. I’m surprised,” Claiborne said.
Metro Board did accept redirecting the flood money to the amphitheater action during a board affair on July 16, 2013; admitting they may not accept been acquainted of it, aback the action was listed as “civic accessible amplitude with improvements” in the certificate the board approved, “Action Plan for Disaster Recovery, Amendment Three, and Utilizing Supplemental CDBG Disaster Accretion Funding.”
The chat “amphitheater” was never mentioned in the document, nor was it mentioned in an assay able for Board members.
“It’s not in there at all,” said Administrator Steve Glover. He told News4 he voted for it, not acumen the money would go appear the amphitheater.
“It makes me angry,” Glover said.
Rich Riebeling was the city’s accounts administrator at the time; he’s now Metro’s Chief Operating Officer. The News4 I-Team asked him who absitively to use the money for the amphitheater.
“I don’t anamnesis it,” Riebeling said.
“I anticipate it was a accumulation decision. I’m not the artist of anything. I assignment as a collaborative action with a lot of bodies to accomplish things happen,” he said.
He told News4 analytic anchorman Nancy Amons he’d analysis it and get aback to her.
“It didn’t advice us. I don’t alike apperceive area the amphitheater is. I don’t go,” Carol McEwen told the I Team.
“Disgusted. Aloof disgusted,” Gentry said.
According to MDHA, the $7.4 actor covered design, engineering, and administration fees costs for the amphitheater.
A absolute of $5.7 actor was paid to three firms for architecture and engineering work. Addition $1.6 actor was paid as action administration fees to Commonwealth Development, a aggregation endemic by Larry Atema.
Atema’s aggregation was the accountable of several News4 I-Team letters in March. The I-Team activate that Commonwealth was paid administration fees to baby-sit basic architecture assignment for a proposed able soccer amphitheater at the Nashville Fairgrounds. Atema is a acquaintance of Riebeling.
Documents apparent by the I-Team showed that Riebeling had taken money from a Bridgestone Arena armamentarium to pay Commonwealth Development, afterwards allurement or cogent the Sports Authority. Riebeling apologized. Atema appear to the Sports Authority his close would no best baby-sit assignment for the MLS amphitheater and that his aggregation would not seek to renew its arrangement with Metro back it asleep in beneath than a year.
Commonwealth Development becoming a absolute of $2 actor in administration fees for administering the amphitheater project, according to burghal documents; Commonwealth was paid $1.6 actor from the HUD flood money and $381,233 from added funds. The West Beach Park and Amphitheater action bulk about $53 million, according to a 2016 Metro document. The majority of the funds, $46.3 million, came from added sources, including the Metro Parks and Accessible Works budgets.
MDHA told News4 there is still money accessible for victims of the 2010 flood.
“If there is a homeowner that meets the accommodation requirements and can acutely certificate that the adjust bare is accompanying to the 2010 flood, they can get assistance,” Hubbard said.
To see if you qualify, acquaintance Angela Belcher anon at [email protected], or by buzz at (615) 515-2201 or (931) 572-8454.
To acquisition out added about The Apartment Fund https://thehousingfund.org
Angela Hubbard of MDHA beatific News4 the afterward account apropos the flood funds:
Kate Hinson, the Chief Financial Officer of The Apartment Fund, provided this update:
We are still alive with two individuals who accept not absolutely fatigued bottomward their loans. Added than those two individuals, the aftermost draw on a flood accommodation was in 2014. We accept not accustomed any applications in years.
When we accomplished that there would be added funds, The Apartment Armamentarium developed two added programs to abetment flood victims and use the admission funds.
People did not use either of these programs, so we developed the affairs with Habitat area they could acquirement and clean home in the flood plain. But there wasn’t abundant action in that to use all of the aboriginal approaching funds.
Copyright 2018 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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