emergencies

Haslam: TN officials consider how to deal with mass shooting

Gov. Bill Haslam says Tennessee’s homeland security officials are already preparing to deal with a mass shooting such as occurred in Las Vegas on Sunday, reports the Jackson Sun. He has also ordered flags at state building flown at half-staff today in honor of the victims at a country music concert in Nevada.

Continue reading

Trump calls Haslam for 10-minute hurricane talk

President Donald Trump called the governors of Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee on Sunday to assure them of federal support from the impact of Hurricane Irma, according to multiple media outlets.

From WATE and the AP on his conversation with Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam:

“The president did call the governor early this morning and they talked for about ten minutes, mostly about hurricane preparations and the state of Hurricane Irma. He called to stress the federal government’s willingness to help in any way it can when the storm reaches Tennessee,” said Governor Haslam’s Press Secretary, Jennifer Donnals.

The American Red Cross has opened five shelters in Tennessee ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Irma.

Haslam suspends some TN laws for Irma evacuees

In an executive order issued Saturday, Gov. Bill Haslam has temporarily suspended some state laws with the goal of helping provide care within the state to people evacuated from areas declared facing a state of emergency because of Hurricane Irma.

Continue reading

Report: Without change, Smokies wildfire ‘will be repeated’

A U.S. National Park Service committee’s review of the November, 2016, Great Smoky Mountains National Park wildfire found no outright wrongdoing by park officials, but uncovered a culture of lax oversight, inexperienced management and tunnel vision that made its spread possible, reports the News Sentinel.

Continue reading

TEMA’s 11 am update on TN storms and flooding

News release from Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (11 am, 9/1/2017)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The remnants of Harvey continue to impact Tennessee as heavy rain and high winds lead to power outages, road closures, and some reported damage.
  • Overnight, some local communities conducted search and rescue operations and evacuated residents from rising flood waters.

Continue reading

TN search and rescue teams head to TX

News release from Tennessee Emergency Management Agency

Nashville, Tenn. – Swiftwater search and rescue teams representing the State of Tennessee will make their way toward southeast Texas this afternoon to conduct life-saving operations to help local authorities dealing with the unprecedented impact of Hurricane Harvey, now a tropical storm.

Continue reading

Haslam wants review of Gatlinburg wildfire; doesn’t want to be a ‘Monday morning quarterback’

Gov. Bill Haslam says a review of the way state and local officials handled the Sevier County wildfires should be open and transparent but he doesn’t want to be a “Monday morning quarterback,” reports the News Sentinel.

“I don’t think there’s anything to hide from anything that I know about,” Haslam said, speaking to the media after meeting with a group of community college leaders in Nashville. “There’s been some remarkable stories of people coming through in a very dangerous and obviously critical situation.

“So from where I stand, there’s nothing I’ve seen anywhere in the process that somebody needs to hide anything. I don’t know why that would be.”

Continue reading

Charges dropped against teenagers accused of arson in Sevier County wildfires

Prosecutors have dropped charges against two Anderson County teenagers they had earlier labeled as responsible for the state’s deadliest wildfire in a century, reports the News Sentinel.

Defense attorney Gregory P. Isaacs said the state can’t prove that the horseplay of the boys, ages 17 and 15, sparked a fire in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that caused the deadly wildfires in Gatlinburg five days later.

“My client and the other juvenile, based on the proof and the evidence, did not cause the death and devastation in Gatlinburg,” Isaacs said during an afternoon news conference inside his in downtown Knoxville law office.

Continue reading

Judge OKs public release of withheld records on Sevier County wildfire

State officials kept secret for weeks a judge’s ruling that government records on the handling of the deadly Sevier County wildfire could be released to the public, reports the News Sentinel, which obtained a copy by asking the judge and court clerk.

The order by Juvenile and General Sessions Judge Jeff Rader, filed June 5, came in response to the state attorney general’s request for clarification on what records the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency could release about the fire that killed 14 people.

…The judge, who will hear the case of the two teenagers accused of setting the blaze, said a gag order issued in the case applied only to prosecutors, defense lawyers and court officials – and to no one else.

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency and various other agencies have cited the case for months in refusing to release records of the response to the wildfire. TEMA spokesman Dean Flener indicated the agency will comply with the ruling. He offered no timetable.

Continue reading

12 TN counties covered by fed disaster declaration from May storms

News release from Tennessee Emergency Management Agency

Nashville, Tenn. – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced (Friday) evening 12 counties will receive federal aid assistance through a Presidential Disaster Declaration as the recovery process continues in several areas from the severe storms and straight-line winds of May 27, and May 28, 2017.

“Local, state, and federal partners came together in a collaborative effort to assess impacts rapidly so we could have accurate storm damage data and illustrate our need for a disaster declaration to President Trump,” Haslam said. “I am grateful to all the first responders, emergency managers, and community members who have united to help others recover from the impact of these storms.”

Tennessee counties included in the Presidential Declaration are:  Blount, Cumberland, Fayette, Knox, Loudon, Morgan, Putnam, Rhea, Roane, Sevier, Shelby, and Smith.

Continue reading