MetroCenter, north Nashville at risk of further flooding

Monday, May 3, 2010 at 7:59pm

The submerged area near MetroCenter (by Brantley Hargrove) 

The banks of the Cumberland River continued to expand to cover swaths of Nashville's MetroCenter Monday afternoon as the levee designed to keep the river at bay leaked into the north Nashville office park.

Water has crept up behind the Watkins College of Art and Design, threatening the school — one of the few structures near the river that seemed to have eluded major flooding as of this afternoon. Volunteers have begun sandbagging the school and MetroCenter, bracing for more flooding. The river won't crest until 8 p.m., National Weather Service officials say.

Nearby Ted Rhodes Park was utterly submerged, and what appeared to be Canada geese stood on a mound of earth in the middle of what used to be a grassy, tree-shaded field. Turtles sunned themselves on the grass at the water’s edge, which bordered the sidewalk along Rosa Parks Boulevard, far from the boundaries of their customary river habitat.

No more than 100 yards down the road, the flood waters bisected Rosa Parks Boulevard across from the park and seemed to advance this afternoon. Across the road, two-story red-brick townhomes sat as islands in a body of water that now stretched from the Cumberland, across the park and Rosa Parks Boulevard, and into the neighborhood near Clarksville Pike.