Corps to present flood report to Senate committee Thursday

Thursday, July 15, 2010 at 10:51am
Staff reports
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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will present its report on actions taken during and immediately after the historic May flooding at a Senate hearing next Thursday, according to Sen. Lamar Alexander. 

The hearing before the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee will take place July 22 at 9:30 a.m. eastern and be broadcast live on Alexander's website, alexander.senate.gov

"This will be a thorough, straight down the middle hearing," Alexander said during a conference call with reporters Thursday morning. 

Tennessee's senior senator said earlier this month he hoped to have the corps' report — which is expected to show its response to May's flooding as well as how it communicated crucial information to the public during the rainfall — in hand before the hearing. He said, however, the report would be issued to the committee around the same time the public would first hear its details. 

"My goal would be to help the federal agencies that have info about flooding to do as good a job communicating that info to those who might be affected by the flooding as they now do with tornados," he said. 

Alexander said he has received confirmation from all those whom he asked to attend the hearing, including Gen. John Peabody, commander of the Corps division under which Tennessee falls; National Weather Service Director Jack Hayes; James Bassham, director of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency; Nashville Mayor Karl Dean; and Millington Mayor Richard Hodges, among others. 

In the aftermath of the May 1 and 2 flooding, 45 Tennessee counties were declared federal disaster areas. The federal government has paid out some $244 million in flood-recovery assistance. Some 64,000 Tennesseans have applied for aid through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. 

"I think FEMA's response has been excellent," Alexander said.