GERMANTOWN, Tenn. — Thanks to improvements to the city drain system, Germantown has held off flooding despite heavy rain the last couple of days.
In early June, historic rainfall caused damage to hundreds of homes in Germantown, with families displaced and possessions ruined. The recovery is still ongoing.
"This is still a ghost town," said Sreenath Shanker, a victim of that flood. "People have not been able to move back into their houses. There are houses in various stages of completion.”
Despite the rainfall from Tropical Storm Barry, Germantown has absorbed water without major incident. That’s thanks to increased emphasis on the drain system’s flow and function.
“What we’ve been doing is just cleaning and repairing, and just doing anything that got damaged during the storm, from that perspective. And just removing debris and cleaning up,” Public Works Director Bo Mills said.
Preventing future flood damage is a top priority, but it doesn’t take away the millions of dollars in damage that has already been done. Residents feel like the city has been helpful in the aftermath, but still want to know why a specific area had to suffer that historic washout.
"What concerns us most is, what the drains were like when it rained," Shanker said. "We do understand that there was a huge amount of rainfall that night, as per the city the drain system got overwhelmed … only a fraction of that, a mile of rain along this neighborhood, got flooded.”
Officials say the city is committed to helping victims moving forward, and are confident that the disaster from June won’t be repeated.
"We want to assure our public that we are out there cleaning those catch basins, working those drain pipes, cleaning those laterals, taking care of getting any debris that might be out there, out,” Mills said.
Alderman Rocky Janda said the city's response in helping citizens has been "just remarkable."
"But I gotta tell you, I expected that response. It’s a great city, and we’ve got great people," he said.