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Floodplain Management

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 Photos of Flooding at Bicentennial Park

Floodplains in Franklin, TN

A floodplain as any land area susceptible to being inundated by floodwaters from any source.  The main waterway in Franklin that offers the biggest risk to flooding is the Harpeth River and its tributaries.  The City of Franklin currently has 1,769 properties that have determined by FEMA to be in the floodplain.

History of Flooding in the City of Franklin

It is critical to remember that the City of Franklin, being located in the Harpeth River Watershed, is subject to flooding from significant storm events.  Williamson County and the Middle Tennessee region has experienced periodic flooding for decades, many of which resulted in property damage.  The most recent flood event occurred in 2010.  Being prepared is your best defense against such events.  Franklin is subject to flooding from heavy rains and particularly those that occur upstream.

What should you do before a flood?

Determine if your property is located in an area subject to flooding. 

Property located in close proximity to the Harpeth River are areas where flooding is likely.

A property located within a flood zone may not necessarily have flooding problems but your property may still be within a flood zone, as designated by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) maps.  Upon request, the Building and Neighborhood Services Department - Floodplain Manager at (615) 550-6631, will make free flood zone determinations for properties within the City.  FEMA maps are also available on-line and at the Williamson County Public Library.  If located in an “AE” Zone, your property is within the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), which is an area that has been determined to have the potential for flooding caused by a 100-year storm.  If located in a “A” Zone, your property is also within the SFHA and could also be subject to substantial flooding.  The Building and Neighborhood Services Department also maintains elevation certificates for many properties within the City which are also available for review.  Scroll to maps below.

For a flood risk profile of your property by address, visit

Keep an emergency supply.

Non-perishable food, water, batteries, flashlights, a manual can opener, and a battery-operated radio should be kept available.

Photo of Harpeth River near Eastern Flank

What should you do during a flood?

If your property is in imminent danger of flooding, please contact Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation at 1-877-777-9111 and Atmos Gas !-888-286-6700 to request that your power and natural gas be shut off, or for guidance on how to do it yourself.  This number may also be contacted regarding any other electrical or natural gas emergencies.

Tune-in to local commercial radio or television stations or NOAA Weather Radio for Watch and Warning Bulletins and any corresponding emergency instructions.

The Williamson County Emergency Services will order or advise evacuations if conditions warrant this action.  If evacuations are called for, it is imperative that you follow instructions in the time frame noted. 

Questions regarding emergency procedures may be addressed to the Williamson County Emergency Services at (615) 790-5757. 

  • If dangerous flooding conditions are imminent, avoid driving a vehicle if possible.  Do not attempt to drive or wade through deep pockets of water or running washes.  Unstable banks should be avoided.

  • Develop an evacuation plan for your family.

  • Avoid low-lying areas.  Seek shelter in the highest areas possible.

Photo of Pinkerton Park Flooding


What should you do after a flood?

  • Listen to the radio for emergency instructions.

  • Avoid driving if possible.

  • Follow established procedures for property damage repairs:

Select a contractor who is licensed in his trade.  The State of Tennessee requires contractors to be licensed and/or registered.  They will also be able to produce receipts for their licenses. Only licensed electricians may perform electrical work, only licensed plumbers may perform plumbing work, only licensed gas contractors may work on a gas system, only licensed mechanical contractors may perform heating, ventilation and air conditioning work, and only licensed building contractors may perform building related work. Verify that contractors are licensed before signing or agreeing to any repair contracts.   It is also recommended that you verify certification of liability and workman’s compensation insurance.  Complaints against licensed contractors may be referred to the appropriate licensing agency.

Require your contractors to obtain the proper permits for work being performed. Permits are required for any permanent improvement (including painting, roofing, siding, additions, alterations, etc.) to a structure and for site work such as grading, filling, etc.  Permits are required even if a homeowner is doing the work himself. 

Questions about permits or contractor licensing may be addressed to the City of Franklin Building and Neighborhood Services Department at (615) 794-7012.

Recognize the natural and beneficial functions of floodplains to help reduce flooding:

Floodplains are a natural component of the Williamson County environment.  Understanding and protecting the natural functions of floodplains helps reduce flood damage and protect resources. When flooding spreads out across the floodplain, its energy is dissipated, which results in lower flood flows downstream, reduced erosion of the erosion, loss of valuable property, increased risk of flooding to downstream properties and degradation of water quality.

For more information about flood safety  or the NFIP, please click on the following links:



Elevation Certificate to 2018

Fema Form 086-0-33 legal

Hazard Mitigation

Williamson County Hazard Mitigation 2011 FEMA approved

FIS Study 1

FIS Study 2


FEMA Map Panel 180

FEMA Map Panel 182

FEMA Map Panel 183

FEMA Map Panel 184

FEMA Map Panel 190

FEMA Map Panel 192

FEMA Map Panel 195

FEMA Map Panel 203

FEMA Map Panel 204

FEMA Map Panel 205

FEMA Map Panel 208

FEMA Map Panel 209

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FEMA Map Panel 212

FEMA Map Panel 213

FEMA Map Panel 214

FEMA Map Panel 220

FEMA Map Panel 230

FEMA Map Panel 335


Purchase flood insurance on your property. 

Flooding is not covered by a standard homeowner’s insurance policy. A separate flood insurance policy is required to cover damages incurred by flooding.  Coverage is available for the building itself as well as for the contents of the building. The City of Franklin participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that makes available federally backed flood insurance for all structures, whether or not they are located within the floodplain.  Note that there is a 30-day waiting period before coverage goes into effect. More than 25 percent of NFIP claims are filed by properties located outside the 100-year floodplain, also known as the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA).  Contact your insurance agency for more information.  Flood insurance information is also available on-line and at the Williamson County Public Library.

Please see the links at the bottom of the page for additional information on flood insurance.

Maintain drainage channels and pipes free of obstruction and debris.

The City of Franklin performs cleaning and maintenance activities on the drainage channels and pipes in City easements & rights-of-way in accordance with an established schedule and other standard operating procedures. Residents are encouraged to assist in maintaining the drainage in their areas by removing or reporting obstructions (such as shopping carts, leaves, debris, trash, etc.). Keeping drainage channels free of obstructions reduces flooding in the event of heavy rains.  By way of City ordinance, it is illegal to dump trash, leaves, landscape debris, paint, grease, or any other material into any portion of the City’s drainage system.  Such dumping can have devastating impacts on water quality in addition to causing flooding.  To report obstructions or illegal dumping, or for questions regarding drainage system maintenance, please contact the City of Franklin Street Department at (615) 791-3254. 

(Elevation of the 100-year flood, based on the FEMA maps), consider elevating your structure, if possible. Brochures discussing flood proofing and other mitigation measures are available on-line and at the Williamson County Public Library.  If a flood is imminent, property can be protected by sandbagging areas subject to the entry of water into living spaces.  The City of Franklin Fire Department may be available to assist with sandbagging efforts.  Valuables and furniture may also be moved to higher areas of the dwelling to minimize damages.  Attaching plywood or specially made panels over windows and patio doors may help protect against high wind damages associated with tornados.  The City of Franklin will make site visits to provide one-on-one advice to a property owner regarding flooding and drainage issues on private property.  We also have site specific information for some parcels within Franklin.  For more information, please contact the Building and Neighborhood Services Department - Floodplain Manager at (615) 550-6631.

Meet improvement requirements. 

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requires that if the cost of reconstruction, additions, or other improvements to a building equals or exceeds 50% of the building’s market value, then the building must meet the same construction requirements as a new building.  Substantially damaged buildings must also be brought up to the same standards.  For example, a residence damaged so that the cost of repairs equals or exceeds 50% of the building’s value before it was damaged must be elevated above the base flood elevation.  Please contact the Building and Neighborhood Services Department - Floodplain Manager at (615) 550-6631 for more information.

Meet permitting requirements.   

All development within the City of Franklin requires a permit. A floodplain development permit is also required for any work (interior or exterior) being proposed for an existing structure within the floodplain. SI/SD Application Link Always check and fulfill permitting requirements with the Building and Neighborhood Services Department at (615) 794-7012 and/or the City’s Floodplain Manager at (615) 550-6631 before you build on, alter, fill, or re-grade on any portion of your property and/or within any easement or right-of-way.  Also, contact either of the numbers above to report any suspected permitting violations.

 Floodplain Manager - Shanna McCoy ph 615-550-6631