$3.2M Awarded to U of M for Disaster Mitigation Work in West Tennessee


A multidisciplinary team led by the University of Memphis received a $3.2 million grant to map and assess damage from future floods and earthquakes in four West Tennessee counties, the university announced today.

The grant, awarded by the 2015 HUD National Disaster Resilience Competition will also fund public education and community outreach in the four counties: Lake, Dyer, Lauderdale, and Madison.

he U of M team, which includes scientists and engineers from Vanderbilt University, Tennessee's Department of Environment and Conservation, and the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium will help the
four counties with infrastructure upgrades, like rehabilitating outdated waste water treatment plants.

Additionally the team will assist the communities in preparing and responding to future disasters, as well as submitting data-based funding requests for disaster relief.

"This important work will assist the state in increasing disaster resilience in some of West Tennessee's most vulnerable rural communities through applied research and education," U of M president David Rudd said.

The $3.2 million awarded to the U of M is a part of a larger $44 million Rural by Nature award that the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD) received to address areas of Tennessee that were impacted by the flood in 2011 and that are also in the New Madrid Seismic Zone—placing the areas at risk for earthquake damage.

“We look forward to working with the University and various state agencies to understand the magnitude and distribution of potential losses from extreme weather events and damaging earthquakes, especially for vulnerable rural communities along the Mississippi River,” said Ted Townsend, chief operating officer for the TNECD.

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