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Floodgate or levee?

Posted Thursday, April 16, 2009, at 1:42 PM

Ever thought about what the floodgate on Cannon Boulevard actually is?

Someone in our newsroom, who is not a Shelbyville native, referred to it as the "levee."

The what?

Others of us eventually figured out he was talking about the floodgate.

And, actually, he was right.

That man-made hill, complete with a gate that's rarely raised (I'd bet most Shelbyvillians have never seen the gate up), and perfect for sledding in rare snows, is a levee.

But most people just call it the floodgate.

I guess every city and county has its locations which longtime residents routinely call one thing and newer residents, or visitors, refer to as something else.

Sort of an example (and at least one Nashville weathercaster needs to learn this): Pronounce Haunt Hollow Road, in northwestern Bedford County. How you do so tells us how long you've lived here, or how well you know the area.

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I remember Normandy Dam being built. I was little but my parents have film of it and I'm sure some pics. I remember flooding in the parking lot of the old Cooper and Martin grocery (United Gro. Outlet too. I was little and I thought it was scary. Does anyone remember what that diner next to the old Cooper and Martin (or Big K) was? I thought they had great french fries when I was little.

-- Posted by titanup1 on Wed, May 13, 2009, at 12:54 PM

I've seen it up. With a couple of feet of River on it. But that was before Normandy Dam was built.

-- Posted by MyMrMarty on Fri, May 8, 2009, at 8:43 PM

I wish I still had a photo I made of an old 2 story log cabin on Haint Holler Road. A truly scary place to drive by late at night, if you were a teenager.

-- Posted by cherokee2 on Wed, May 6, 2009, at 2:53 PM

American Woman I found another reference for you on the flood pictures. In the publication put out by the Bedford County Historical Society for the Bicentennial Celebration in 2007 on pages 117 through 122 there are several good pictures. The book is titled "Postcard Memories of Bedford County, Tennessee".

-- Posted by leeiii on Thu, Apr 30, 2009, at 3:32 PM

I remember the storm that flooded the save-a-lot just a few years back. The city had the bridge blocked off, and the gate was up. I took my two children to see it. That was the first, and only time I've seen it up. I am a transplant from another county so I thought it something that my kids could see and remember aboiut their town.

-- Posted by docudrama on Mon, Apr 20, 2009, at 12:55 AM

Up north I hear people use the word LEVY over tax increase.....

-- Posted by big daddy rabbit on Sun, Apr 19, 2009, at 11:45 AM

Leeiii, Thank You for the info...I will check out the library sometime and I think my sister has the book you mentioned from the Times Gazette.

-- Posted by AmericanWoman on Fri, Apr 17, 2009, at 12:37 PM

the fire dept. maintains it and they clean it several times a year , usually on a sunday morning around 5 so most people wouldn't even know, thought i'd clear it up!

-- Posted by gettin-by on Thu, Apr 16, 2009, at 9:04 PM

American Woman, if you have access to a copy of the "Sesquicentennial Historical Edition" published by the Shelbyville Times-Gazette in October of 1969, you will find pictures and a story about the 1902, 1929, and 1948 floods on pages 230 through 233. On page 231 there is a picture looking down North Spring Street (Jail Hill) that looks right into the area of the Big Springs Shopping Center. The article says that the 1902 flood was the biggest, however, I remember several floods in the late '40's and early '50's. Someone mentioned that you could find a copy at the Library. Also you can find an article on page 41 and a couple of pictures of Big Spring.

"A Pictorial History of Bedford County" also published by the Shelbyville Times-Gazette in 1994 has pictures on pages 52 through 69 of the floods. I am almost certain that the Library will yield lots of other pictures and history of the floods.

-- Posted by leeiii on Thu, Apr 16, 2009, at 8:37 PM

I have seen the flood gate raised many times. I have seen In and Out store the car wash nearby and alot of other buisinesses farther up Cannon Blvd. standing in water. I would like to see pictures of Big Springs shopping center when it was under water years ago...where Goodwill is at this time. I am sure there are alot of people that have seen the floodgates closed...just not the new generation of younger people.

-- Posted by AmericanWoman on Thu, Apr 16, 2009, at 7:10 PM

i have only seen it raised one time.

-- Posted by 4fabfelines on Thu, Apr 16, 2009, at 4:53 PM

A floodgate is defined as "adjustable gate used to control water flow in reservoir, river, stream, or levee systems. They may be designed to set spillway crest heights in dams, to adjust flow rates in sluices and canals, or they may be designed to stop water flow entirely as part of a levee or storm surge system."

-- Posted by jaxspike on Thu, Apr 16, 2009, at 2:09 PM

David, the Fire Department used to raise the flood gate and clean in on a scheduled basis, and I would venture to say that they still do. Maybe at a time during the early morning hours when traffic is the lightest.

I thought that everyone knew that it was Haint Holler Road.

-- Posted by leeiii on Thu, Apr 16, 2009, at 2:08 PM

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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.