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

The public can obtain news, updates and information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District on the district’s website at, on Facebook at and on Twitter at

PHOTOS: ChattaJack 31

Chattajack 2016 was the biggest yet with approximately 500 racers from all over the USA, Hawaii, Canada, the Caribbean, all the way to New Zealand.  The race travels 31 miles through the scenic Tennessee River Gorge. This year, brutal headwinds challenged racers for most of the race. The fastest time was done on a surfski (4hours & 4 minutes) and the race cut off ... (click for more)

Motorists Urged To Be Cautious To Avoid Deer This Fall

Motorists are urged to exercise caution during the fall season as this is a time of peak deer activity, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division. “Motorists should be alert and pay close attention to the roadsides as we are nearing the annual peak time of the year for deer-car collisions,” said Charlie Killmaster, state deer biologist ... (click for more)

School Board Chooses Charlotte Firm For Superintendent Search Firm; Lennon, Testerman Want To Keep Kelly

The County School Board on Thursday night voted 5-4 to choose a Charlotte, N.C., search firm to pick a new county school superintendent. Coleman Lew and Associates was selected over McPherson & Jacobson of Omaha. That vote came after board members Kathy Lennon and David Testerman started the session by saying they are very pleased with Interim Supt. Kirk Kelly and would ... (click for more)

East Ridge May Revise Ordinance On Extended Stays; Fire Hall Cost Well Above Projection; Dunkin Donuts, Firehouse Subs Going Into Border Region Sector

A large portion of the East Ridge City Council meeting Thursday night was devoted to the discussion of a proposed amendment to the ordinance previously passed relating to minimum hotel and extended stay hotel requirements. The new recommendations, which the city manager, codes enforcer and city attorney have drafted after meetings with hotel associations, are that a stay can be ... (click for more)

Accountability Doesn't Have To Be A Bad Word

Am I making a difference? Isn’t that the basic question we all ask ourselves, and seek to demonstrate to others?  Ronald Reagan said:  “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.”   We would argue teachers do not have that problem either.    Educators make a huge difference ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Guess Who Backed Kelly?

Two weeks before the August election where three members of the Hamilton County School Board were angrily replaced, the organizer of what was called “a great way for the (challengers) to raise great money to help them run smart campaigns” made a bold statement. “I'm sure the current board is well-intentioned, but the results are not there," said Paul Brock. "Leadership matters ... (click for more)