emergencies

Roe tried to resuscitate train wreck victim

Rep. Phil Roe suspected it was already too late to save the young man lying near the wreckage of a train-truck collision this week, but he began to administer CPR anyway, reports the News Sentinel.

A retired physician, Roe continued working with the patient until EMTs arrive. But his first impression had been right.

The man, Christopher Foley, 28, of Louisa County, Va., had died when the garbage truck in which he was a passenger was struck by an Amtrak train carrying Roe and other Republican members of Congress to a retreat in West Virginia.

“It was really frustrating to not be able to do anything for this man,” Roe recalled Thursday.

To Foley’s family, Roe sends this message: “I don’t think he suffered at all. I think (death) was instantaneous.”

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

Most TNGOP congressmen vote no on debt ceiling/disaster relief

Most Republicans in Tennessee’s congressional delegation voted against a bill that raises the national debt ceiling and provides $15 billion in hurricane Harvey disaster relief — legislation finalized after President Donald Trump reached an agreement with Democratic congressional leaders.

The bill was approved 80-17 in the Senate on Thursday with Sen. Lamar Alexander voting yes and Sen. Bob Corker voting no.

The House approved the bill today on a 316-90 vote. Tennessee’s two Democratic representatives, Steve Cohen of Memphis and Jim Cooper of Nashville, both voted yes. So did two East Tennessee Republicans – Reps. Phil Roe of Johnson City and Chuck Fleischmann of Chattanooga.

But five Tennessee Republicans voted no. They were Reps. Diane Black of Gallatin, Marsha Blackburn of Brentwood, Scott DesJarlais of South Pittsburg, John J. “Jimmy” Duncan Jr. of Knoxville and David Kustoff of Memphis.

In response to an inquiry, a Corker spokeswoman emailed this comment on his vote:

“We continue to kick the can down the road on our fiscal issues instead of changing the trajectory of spending,” said Corker. “This bill added $7.4 billion in Community Development Block Grant money that the president did not even request that should have gone through the normal appropriations process.”

Note: A Washington Post overview story (one of many in national media) is HERE. The Senate roll call vote is HERE and the House roll call vote HERE.

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