Nashville District Announces Plans To Tighten Restrictions Around Corps Dams

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District is finalizing plans to implement 24/7 restricted waterborne access to hazardous waters immediately upstream and downstream of all Corps-owned locks and dams, flood control dams and multi-purpose dams on the Cumberland River and its adjoining tributaries. This action moves the Nashville District into full compliance with Corps regulations.

Public information meetings are planned for Paducah, Ky., Nashville, Cookeville, Tn. and Somerset, Ky. in January 2013.These meetings will allow the public to respond to the proposed implementation plans. Detailed information for each meeting’s time and location will be provided to the public as soon as they are finalized.

The restricted areas will be the minimum area allowed per Corps regulations upstream and downstream of locks, dams, and power plant facilities. All forms of water access within the restricted areas will be prohibited including boating, swimming and wading.The Corps continues to allow bank fishing in all areas that were previously approved, including areas adjacent to some restricted areas.The restricted areas will be small areas compared to the entire tailwater below the dams on federal property.Fishing and boating will still be allowed in these non-restricted areas.

"We understand the tightened restricted areas in the Nashville District may be unpopular, but it is necessary for the district to enforce a more restrictive policy that complies more effectively with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ ER 1130-2-520, Chapter 10," said Freddie Bell, chief of the Natural Resource Management Branch."The increased restriction will also provide the highest level of public safety and address physical security issues."

Since 2009, three fatalities, one serious injury and 10 near misses/rescues have occurred in the hazardous waters immediately downstream of dams on the Cumberland River and its adjoining tributaries. Life jacket wear has been ineffective in these areas, since all of the victims who drowned were wearing a life jacket.

The immediate hazardous water areas above and below dams in the Nashville District are best described as industrial areas that pose a high level of risk for the public because of the hydroelectric, spilling, sluicing and lock operations that are often present or begin with little or no notice.Such water releases can change a dry riverbed or calm waters into a life-threatening situation within seconds that can swamp, capsize and trap boats and people in turbulent waters.

"We want the public to understand safety is the Agency’s highest priority," said Mr. Bell. "The tailwater directly below a dam is a high risk area and fishing in this area is a high risk activity.As we comply with Corps regulations by restricting these areas, we are also keeping the public safe."

For more information, on the "Restricted Areas Around Dams" please go to http://www.lrn.usace.army.mil/pao/news/boating_restrictions_near_dams.htm.

The public can obtain news, updates and information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District on the district’s website at www.lrn.usace.army.mil, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nashvillecorps and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/nashvillecorps


Appalachian Trail Produces Deer Poacher And Lost Dog

TWRA wildlife officers working along the Appalachian Trail in the Cherokee National Forest near Butler charged a hunter with violations related to illegal deer hunting, then rescued a lost family pet in the same area.  Carter County Wildlife Officer Dennis Ward has documented illegal ATV tracks on Iron Mountain for several years, and while scouting out the area this year, ... (click for more)

Low Water Levels Increase Boating Hazard

With the statewide duck season set to open, winter angling opportunities and those recreational boaters withstanding colder temperatures to continue enjoying their sport, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) reminds boaters of  increased hazards in areas with low water levels. Above average temperatures and below average rainfall throughout the year has affected water ... (click for more)

East Ridge Meth Dealer Gets 168 Months In Federal Prison

A man who agents said was dealing large quantities of meth from his East Ridge residence has been sentenced to serve 168 months in federal prison. Kenneth Lemons appeared before Judge Curtis Collier. Agents said they made several controlled drug buys from Lemons at his residence in 2015. On Oct. 27, 2015, he drove up to a residence where DEA agents were making a controlled ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Man With 5 Violent Felonies Gets 30 Years In Prison

A Chattanooga man with five violent felonies on his record has been sentenced to serve 30 years in prison. Demetrius Joiner, 30, was given a 20-year sentence by Judge Curtis Collier after he was ruled to be an Armed Career Criminal. Judge Collier said the term would be consecutive to several state sentences imposed earlier on Joiner, including 10 years for aggravated robbery. ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Couldn't Manage Public Education

I have been reading the buzz about Signal Mountain and other small municipalities considering a move to form their own school district within their municipal boundaries.  It is quite the comedy hour considering the notion that small cities that for decades could not even manage small sewer systems or 911 districts, are somehow going to do a better job with public education ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: School Board Can’t Wait

It took the Hamilton County School board nine months before the group hired a search firm to find a new superintendent. But you mark my words – the Department of Education will undoubtedly implode if our leaders wait another nine months simply hoping for some type of mystical salvation. In the last week Signal Mountain leaders have all but given notice they will form their own district ... (click for more)