Uneven experiences of urban flooding: examining the 2010 Nashville flood

Gabrielle Linscott, Andrea Rishworth, Brian King, Mikael P. Hiestand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Intense precipitation events are projected to rise across the southeast USA. The field of meteorology has expanded knowledge of urban precipitation, yet the uneven impacts of precipitation and flooding on specific communities, particularly in the USA, have received less attention. This paper addresses this gap. Using the 2010 Nashville Davidson County Tennessee flood event, the differential community impacts of flooding and their spatial variations are analyzed. Guided by social vulnerability and hazards methodologies, census block data from the 2012 American Community Survey, ArcGIS imagery and redlining maps are used to develop a social variability index using principal components analysis. Components were overlaid on all 98 Nashville census tracts for Davidson County to reveal that flood impacts were inequitably distributed with socioeconomically and racially marginalized households the most severely impacted from flooding. The consequence is that historical processes of segregation and marginalization continue to shape uneven flood impacts in Nashville. Examining the ways vulnerable populations experience severe precipitation events is needed particularly as extreme events are expected to intensify in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)629-653
Number of pages25
JournalNatural Hazards
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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