Alexander: “Could Clearer, More Correct, More Consistent Information from the Army Corps of Engineers Have Saved Millions of Dollars in Damages?”

Senate Committee Leaders Agree to Review Lake Discharges During Flood

Posted on May 6, 2010

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today during a hearing of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, of which he is a member, discussed the recent Tennessee storm, the resulting flood and whether Army Corps of Engineers’ reporting standards ought to be adjusted. 

“We had about 14 inches of rain in two days, and the mayor of Nashville estimates that there may be a billion dollars worth of damage just in the Nashville area alone,” Alexander said.  “This is a time for cleaning up and helping people, but it’s also a time for asking the question, ‘What can we do better?’ 

Alexander continued, “One of the things we might be able to do better in the event of a disaster like this is to have clear, correct and consistent information from the Army Corps of Engineers about the release of water from the Old Hickory and Percy Priest dams.  It’s too early to say whether the information we did receive was unclear, incorrect of inconsistent, but we should address whether more information about the rise of floodwaters on the Cumberland River to the community might have saved millions of dollars in damages.  

“This was a problem after Katrina, I know that Senator Landrieu talked about it, and in an orderly and appropriate way, at the right time, I’d like to address this question.” 

The Committee’s Chairman, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), and Ranking Republican Member, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), agreed to address this matter soon.