Nashville Public Radio: Alexander Calls for Questions of Corps

Posted on July 16, 2010

Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander is asking the public to submit questions for a hearing into how the Army Corps of Engineers responded to May’s historic flooding.

The hearing will give a first opportunity for the Corps of Engineers to present its report detailing how dams were managed during the flood and how releases were communicated to the public. Many flood victims – including officials with Gaylord Opryland – have been critical of the Corps for not giving more warning of how high the Cumberland River would swell because of releases from upstream dams.

For those who have questions of their own, Senator Alexander says they can post on his Facebook page before next Thursday’s hearing.

“I’ll ask some of those questions and I’ll submit others to the witnesses for their answers.”

The witnesses include Gen. John Peabody, who oversees the Ohio River division of the Corps. Gary Carter of the National Weather service will also testify, along with local officials like Nashville Mayor Karl Dean.

Senator Alexander Going into Corps Hearing with Open Mind

Senator Alexander says the hearing July 22nd should give details about how the Corps responded and what lessons were learned.

“I’m not going to prejudge anything. It’s going to be a thorough, straight down the middle hearing. The Army Corps of Engineers will have an opportunity to present for the first time it’s after action report.”

Nashville Congressman Jim Cooper has roundly criticized the Corps’ handling of the flood, especially the lack of early warning about releases from upstream dams and how high the river might rise.